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bellwether (n.)

also bell-wether, "lead sheep (on whose neck a bell was hung) of a domesticated flock," mid-14c. (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin; late 12c. as a surname), from bell (n.) + wether. Figurative sense of "chief, leader" is from mid-14c.

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Definitions of bellwether from WordNet

bellwether (n.)
someone who assumes leadership of a movement or activity;
bellwether (n.)
sheep that leads the herd often wearing a bell;
From wordnet.princeton.edu