lead [1] VERB (past and past part. led) 1) cause (a person or animal) to go with one, especially by drawing them along or by preceding them to a destination. 2) be a route or means of access: the street led into the square. 3) (lead to) result in. 4) influence to do or believe something: that may lead them to reconsider. 5) be in charge of. 6) have the advantage in a race or game. 7) be superior to (a competitor). 8) have or experience (a particular way of life). 9) (often lead (off) with) begin with a particular action or item. 10) (lead up to) precede or result in. 11) (lead on) deceive (someone) into believing that one is attracted to them. 12) (in card games) play (the first card) in a trick or round of play.
NOUN 1) the initiative in an action: others followed our lead. 2) (the lead) a position of advantage in a contest; first place. 3) an amount by which a competitor is ahead of the others: a one-goal lead. 4) the chief part in a play or film. 5) (before another noun ) playing the chief part in a musical group: the lead singer. 6) (before another noun ) denoting the principal item in a report or text: the lead article. 7) a clue to be followed in the resolution of a problem. 8) Brit. a strap or cord for restraining and guiding a dog. 9) a wire conveying electric current from a source to an appliance, or connecting two points of a circuit together. 10) (in card games) an act or the right of playing first in a trick or round of play.
lead astray — Cf. ↑lead astray
lead up the garden path — Cf. ↑lead up the garden path
lead with one's chin — Cf. ↑lead with one's chin
ORIGIN Old English, related to LOAD(Cf. ↑loader) and LODE(Cf. ↑lode).
lead [2] NOUN 1) a heavy bluish-grey soft ductile metallic element. 2) graphite used as the part of a pencil that makes a mark. 3) Printing a blank space between lines of print (originally created by a metal strip). 4) Nautical a lump of lead suspended on a line to determine the depth of water. 5) (leads) Brit. sheets or strips of lead covering a roof. 6) (leads) lead frames holding the glass of a lattice or stained-glass window.
go down like a lead balloon — Cf. ↑go down like a lead balloon
ORIGIN Old English.

English terms dictionary. 2015.


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  • Lead — (pronEng|ˈlɛd) is a main group element with a symbol Pb ( la. plumbum). Lead has the atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal, also considered to be one of the heavy metals. Lead has a bluish white color when freshly cut, but… …   Wikipedia

  • Lead — (l[e^]d), n. [OE. led, leed, lead, AS. le[ a]d; akin to D. lood, MHG. l[=o]t, G. loth plummet, sounding lead, small weight, Sw. & Dan. lod. [root]123.] 1. (Chem.) One of the elements, a heavy, pliable, inelastic metal, having a bright, bluish… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lead — lead1 [lēd] vt. led, leading [ME leden < OE lædan, caus. of lithan, to travel, go, akin to Ger leiten: for IE base see LOAD] 1. a) to show the way to, or direct the course of, by going before or along with; conduct; guide b) to show (the way)… …   English World dictionary

  • Lead — (l[=e]d), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Led} (l[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Leading}.] [OE. leden, AS. l[=ae]dan (akin to OS. l[=e]dian, D. leiden, G. leiten, Icel. le[imac][eth]a, Sw. leda, Dan. lede), properly a causative fr. AS. li[eth]an to go; akin to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lead — Lead, n. 1. The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another. [1913 Webster] At the time I speak of, and having a momentary lead, . . . I am sure I did my country important service.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lead — 〈[ li:d] n. 15; Mus.〉 Führungsstimme in einer Jazzband od. Popgruppe [zu engl. lead „führen“] * * * Lead [li:d ], das; [s], s [engl. lead, zu: to lead = (an)führen]: 1. <o. Pl.> führende ↑ Stimme (3 b) in einer [Jazz]band ( …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lead — (von engl. to lead = „(an)führen“, [liːd]) hat unterschiedliche Bedeutungen: Lead (Titularbistum) Eine Stadt in der Nähe von Rapid City, siehe Lead (South Dakota). Leadklettern; Variante des Sportkletterns Marketing / Vertrieb: Die erfolgreiche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lead — 1 vt led, lead·ing: to suggest the desired answer to (a witness) by asking leading questions lead 2 n: something serving as a tip, indication, or clue the police have only one lead in the murder investigation Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law.… …   Law dictionary

  • lead — lead, led Lead is the present tense of the verb meaning ‘to go in front’, ‘to take charge of’, etc., and its past form is led. A common mistake is to use lead for the past form and pronounce it led in speech, probably on the false analogy of read …   Modern English usage

  • lead — [n1] first place, supremacy advance, advantage, ahead, bulge, cutting edge*, direction, edge, example, facade, front rank, guidance, head, heavy, leadership, margin, model, over, pilot, point, precedence, primacy, principal, priority, protagonist …   New thesaurus

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