Etymology
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leader (n.)

Old English lædere "one who leads, one first or most prominent," agent noun from lædan "to guide, conduct" (see lead (v.)). Cognate with Old Frisian ledera, Dutch leider, Old High German leitari, German Leiter. As a title for the head of an authoritarian state, from 1918 (translating Führer, Duce, caudillo, etc.). Meaning "writing or statement meant to begin a discussion or debate" is late 13c.; in modern use often short for leading article (1807) "opinion piece in a British newspaper" (leader in this sense attested from 1837). The golf course leader board so called from 1970.

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instrumental (adj.)

late 14c., "of the nature of an instrument, serving as a means to an end," from Old French instrumental, from Medieval Latin *instrumentalis, from Latin instrumentum "a tool, apparatus" (see instrument (n.)). Meaning "serviceable, useful" is from c. 1600. Of music, c. 1500; noun meaning "musical composition for instruments only" is attested by 1940. Related: Instrumentally; instrumentality.

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leadership (n.)

1821, "position of a leader, command," from leader + -ship. Sense extended by late 19c. to "characteristics necessary to be a leader, capacity to lead."

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cheerleader (n.)

also cheer-leader, "performer of cheers, chants, dancing, etc. in support of a sports team," 1900, American English, from cheer (n.) + leader. Cheerleading is attested from 1906.

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heresiarch (n.)

"arch-heretic; leader in heresy," 1620s, from Church Latin haeresiarcha, from Late Greek hairesiarkhes "leader of a school;" in classical use chiefly a medical school; in ecclesiastical writers, leader of a sect or heresy (see heresy + arch-). Related: Heresiarchy.

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vocalist (n.)

1610s, "speaker" (obsolete); 1817, "singer," as opposed to "instrumental performer;" from vocal + -ist.

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Duce (n.)

1923, title assumed by Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), fascist leader of Italy; Italian, literally "leader," from Latin ducem, from PIE root *deuk- "to lead."

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imam (n.)

1610s, from Arabic, literally "leader; one who precedes," from amma "to go before, precede." As a high religious title used differently by Sunni and Shiite, but also used of the leader of daily prayers in the mosque and generally for a Muslim prince or religious leader. Related: Imamate.

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-ant 

agent or instrumental suffix, from Old French and French -ant, from Latin -antem, accusative of -ans, present-participle suffix of many Latin verbs. Compare -ance.

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instrumentalist (n.)

"musical performer on an instrument," 1818, from instrumental in the musical sense + -ist. Perhaps from German Instrumentalist (18c.).

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