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a wagon, usually large and ornately decorated, for carrying a musical band while it is playing, as in a circus parade or to a political rally.
a party, cause, movement, etc., that by its mass appeal or strength readily attracts many followers:
After it became apparent that the incumbent would win, everyone decided to jump on the bandwagon.
Contemporary Examples

And the bandwagon is attracting new passengers all the time.
Scientists Exhume the Heart of Richard the Lionheart Dan Jones March 2, 2013

And in these early days we are seeing some distinctly political characters jump on the bandwagon.
The Big Idea: Can We Outsmart Climate Change? Clive Hamilton July 18, 2013

They may try to jump on the bandwagon but this is not their caravan.
Al Qaeda’s Odd Silence on Egypt Bruce Riedel February 5, 2011

Not as any kind of bandwagon, but just as a kind of natural evolution.
Martin Amis Talks About Nazis, Novels, and Cute Babies Ronald K. Fried October 8, 2014

Never one to miss a bandwagon, or steal cheap applause, Bill Clinton got in on this act as well.
From Gore to Kennedy, Democrats Have Their Own Shady Voter ID Past Matt Latimer September 13, 2012

Historical Examples

Her eyes were set on the bias and she was painted more colors than a bandwagon.
The Slim Princess George Ade

There’s something in an Irishman that drives him into the bandwagon.
Cappy Ricks Retires Peter B. Kyne

Gid’s not to say a teetotaler, but he had to climb into the bandwagon skiff or sink outen sight.
Rose of Old Harpeth Maria Thompson Daviess

Should he jump on the bandwagon of advancement to the stars, hoping to catch the imagination of the voters by it?
Progress Report Mark Clifton

The realists had won; the rest climbed on the bandwagon but quick; and the temple was cleansed.
Question of Comfort Les Collins

(US) a wagon, usually high and brightly coloured, for carrying the band in a parade
jump on the bandwagon, climb on the bandwagon, get on the bandwagon, to join or give support to a party or movement that seems to be assured of success

also band-wagon, 1855, American English, from band (n.2) + wagon, originally a large wagon used to carry the band in a circus procession; as these also figured in celebrations of successful political campaigns, being on the bandwagon came to represent “attaching oneself to anything that looks likely to succeed,” a usage first attested 1899 in writings of Theodore Roosevelt.


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