1. (noun) An individual that guides or leads.

2. (noun) An individual in charge or in command of other people.

3. (noun) An individual with the power to influence others.


  1. The leader of a company, such as Elon Musk (born 1971), the Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX.
  2. The leader of an orchestra, such as Stan Kenton (1911–1979).

Audio Pronunciation: (lead·er)

Download Audio Pronunciation: leader.mp3

Usage Notes:

  • Plural: leaders
  • A type of individual.
  • A leader (verb) leads through (noun) leadership and the followers of leaders are (verb) led.

Usage Notes:

Related Terms: 


Works Consulted

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Farlex. (N.d.) TheFreeDictionary.com: Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus. Farlex. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/).

Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Kimmel, Michael S., and Amy Aronson. 2012. Sociology Now. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Stolley, Kathy S. 2005. The Basics of Sociology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).


How to Cite the Definition of Leader

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “leader.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 27, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/leader/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

leader. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/leader/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “leader.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 27, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/leader/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“leader.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 27 Jun. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/leader/>.