Word of the Day



1. someone who is responsible for or in control of a group, organization, country etc

2. a piece of writing in a newspaper in which the editor (= the person in charge of a newspaper) expresses their personal opinion on a subject

3. someone who conducts a band

Origin and usage

The word leader comes from the Old English word ‘lædan’ meaning ‘to go before as a guide’. It was first used in English in the 14th century to describe a person in charge, and then various other uses came about later. Use of the word leader in reference to an opinion article in a British newspaper is from 1837.


The word leader has many different uses. Most commonly, the word is used to describe a person who is in charge or a company that is more successful than others in its field.

A person who is a leader usually has a number of personal traits that make them well-suited to being in charge of or responsible for others. Some people are natural leaders, while others must work hard to develop a leader’s mindset.

Common characteristics of successful leaders include:

• Enthusiasm
• Integrity
• Excellent communication skills
• Loyalty
• Charisma
• Ability to make decisions
• Ability to manage others well
• Ability to empower others


“Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader; you have to listen to people who are on the front line.”

(Richard Branson)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary is an award-winning, one-stop reference for English learners and speakers around the world.

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