thought leader

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thought leader (plural thought leaders)

  1. (set phrase, usually hyphenated when used attributively) A person, organization, publication, etc. regarded as an authoritative source of new ideas or intellectual trends.
    • 1990, Manfred Stanley, "The Rhetoric of the Commons" in The Rhetorical Turn, →ISBN, p. 243 (Google preview):
      Referring illustratively to the debate on industrial policy between "thought leaders," . . . Yankelovitch says that below the level of media rhetoric, "one can detect a core of agreement emerging because the different parties are influencing one another."
    • 2004 Sept. 6, "‘Not Your Father's Silicon Valley’," Businessweek (retrieved 23 June 2014):
      Google, Yahoo, and eBay are the leaders in the online world. Apple is the thought leader in music.
    • 2008 Oct. 3, Stuart Elliott, "Brainy Brand Names Where They’re Least Expected," New York Times (retrieved 23 June 2014):
      In seeking readers and advertisers, publications like The Atlantic and The Economist, known as thought-leader magazines, have long tried to make up in cleverness what they lack in wallet power.
    • 2013 Jan. 9, Jessica Shankleman, "Public transport gets smart," The Guardian (UK) (retrieved 23 June 2014):
      The UK needs to be a thought leader on road safety, added Oldham, "so we can influence Europe."


See also[edit]


  • thought leader at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • Joe Miller (24 January 2018), “Davos jargon: A crime against the English language?”, in BBC News[1], BBC