Definition of bandwagon in US English:



  • 1Used in reference to an activity, cause, etc. that is currently fashionable or popular and attracting increasing support.

    ‘the environmental bandwagon is feeling mighty crowded’
    ‘concerns over the risk posed by this emerging technology threaten to derail the bandwagon’
    • ‘So a few weeks ago, way, way behind the bandwagon, I discovered the Norah Jones album.’
    • ‘As always with the year drawing to a close I am debating whether or not to jump on the resolution bandwagon.’
    • ‘However, as soon as they have a steady income and begin to raise a family, they join the package-deal bandwagon or join guided tours.’
    • ‘Hundreds of cities around the nation have climbed onto the sustainability bandwagon.’
    • ‘While reluctant to jump on the celebrity bandwagon, Mansfield has been active in pursuing other ways to move his company forward.’
    • ‘Any spectacle surrounding the Tyson bandwagon tends to display only the awesome power of money.’
    • ‘FOXY BROWN is the latest member of the hip hop contingent to jump on the fashion bandwagon.’
    • ‘One thing Clinic could never be accused of is copying anyone's sound or jumping aboard the latest fashionable bandwagon.’
    • ‘While others may be content to jump on the electroclash bandwagon, Tiga again proves to be an innovator.’
    • ‘Critics, notoriously influenced by what other critics have written, are often prone to drift onto bandwagons, consciously or not.’
    • ‘It is ironic that arts in education appears to be something of a political bandwagon.’
    • ‘It could also add enough momentum to finally bring New Labour's privatisation bandwagon to a grinding halt.’
    • ‘Most of them have already hopped on the Linux bandwagon, largely by working with the likes of Linuxcare and Red Hat.’
    • ‘For some time I have wondered why it is only Hollywood, and not our own film industry, that is riding the Shakespeare bandwagon.’
    • ‘The Buccaneers bandwagon is smoldering after an embarrassing loss in San Francisco.’
    • ‘In the short-term meanwhile, there are plans for a website, as Robertson jumps on the e-commerce bandwagon.’
    • ‘Perish the thought of jumping willy-nilly on to investment bandwagons or lavishing shareholders' funds on high-profile marketing campaigns.’
    • ‘There are a number of people jumping on the Scottish bandwagon and making things very depressing.’
    • ‘Apart from the integrated oil outfits, lots of other businesses are now climbing on board the environmental bandwagon.’
  • 2(especially formerly) a wagon used for carrying a band in a parade or procession.

    • ‘He says a bit in his defence and then carries on on his bandwagon.’
    • ‘Our extended family got on the bandwagon, of course, and we all began making inquiries.’
    • ‘This is the explosive essence of carnival, and it is driven by music from bandwagons, articulated lorries stacked 30 feet high with speakers.’
    • ‘We must not reward them by jumping on any of their various bandwagons.’
    • ‘Doesn't she know that there is a law against overloading bandwagons?’
    • ‘I don't like bandwagons, because I am a slowcoach and it's usually pretty crowded by the time I get there.’
    • ‘Sometimes, though, I don't always get on the bandwagon before it rolls out of the gate.’
    • ‘But then, I suppose without any petrol, some smart lorry-driver might inform you, no bandwagons would get anywhere anyway.’
    • ‘When I spoke to Declan on Wednesday evening, he was in the processing of finalizing a deal for the new bandwagon.’
    • ‘Even as the bandwagon rolled over their son's grave, they honoured his memory by voicing nothing but calm compassion for his killer.’
    • ‘One man is out to derail the bandwagons in all three of the Festival's biggest races, however.’
    • ‘And all those passing bandwagons, wheels spinning and drivers hissing, have given William something to hop on.’
    • ‘Jumping on such bandwagons is fun - and I've met a lot of people who I now consider good friends through this medium.’
    • ‘At first glance, a fella could be hoodwinked into assuming both these bandwagons to be one and the same.’
    • ‘As the Culture Minister, he might have been expected to fight his corner for the arts, but no, he saw a speeding bandwagon and leapt aboard.’


  • jump (or climb) on the bandwagon

    • Join others in doing or supporting something fashionable or likely to be successful.

      ‘scientists and doctors alike have jumped on the bandwagon’
      • ‘But without enforced government mandates, outfitters have no incentive to jump on the bandwagon, and both workers and the environment continue to suffer.’
      • ‘Terry can also rely on Richmond's army of supporters to jump on the bandwagon if they get the sniff of success.’
      • ‘I pretty much ignore the critics and unfortunately I have to deal with the moochers - people who want to jump on the bandwagon and start GTG consulting firms or something.’
      • ‘Journalists jump on the bandwagon, and grand sketches are circulated highlighting an urban utopia complete with crisp boardwalks, fancy restaurants and the all-important water vista.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, he said, ‘eventually all the major retailers will jump on the bandwagon.’’
      • ‘My worry is that kids will think it's big to jump on the bandwagon and then another generation is infected.’
      • ‘Maybe if a couple more celebrities jump on the bandwagon, all of America will stop wearing bras.’
      • ‘It is a delicate dance between enticing legions of customers to jump on the bandwagon and building the capacity to support them if they actually show up.’
      • ‘Why not jump on the bandwagon and do something good for a cause that's near and dear to our hearts?’
      • ‘Couple this with many equity-rich property owners in the UK and it becomes obvious why there has been such a rush to jump on the bandwagon and move to the mountains.’
      • ‘It means ‘I hated it, it sucked, but I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of chin-scratching high-brow critical savagery.’’
      • ‘With these types of economic freedoms many people will jump on the bandwagon and the projected GDP growth figures are very likely to be met.’
      • ‘Since the cool girls are pimping out their favorite products in the new Amazon Beauty Store I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon and do the same.’
      • ‘Since Meg has been asking lots of questions of her readers lately, I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and ask you to join in: what's your favourite recipe?’
      • ‘If somebody else innovates and it becomes successful they might try to buy them out or jump on the bandwagon, but if innovation threatens that guaranteed income they squash it and that's that.’
      • ‘The credibility and brand equity that Google enjoys is huge, and I expect them to continue to beat other search engines and advertising networks that may eventually jump on the bandwagon.’
      • ‘‘We don't want to jump on the bandwagon,’ he says.’
      • ‘Many companies may try and jump on the bandwagon, so we need to ensure the quality of his image is protected.’
      • ‘I thought somebody was going to jump on the bandwagon in Scotland, so why not me?’
      • ‘That means they are ready to jump on the bandwagon and honour just about anyone if it is going to be popular with the public.’


Mid 19th century (originally US): from band + wagon.