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lead Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun an advantage held by a competitor in a race
    • he took the lead at the last turn
  2. noun a soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element; bluish white when freshly cut but tarnishes readily to dull grey
    Pb; atomic number 82.
    • the children were playing with lead soldiers
  3. noun evidence pointing to a possible solution
    track; trail.
    • the police are following a promising lead
    • the trail led straight to the perpetrator
  4. noun a position of leadership (especially in the phrase `take the lead')
    • he takes the lead in any group
    • we were just waiting for someone to take the lead
    • they didn't follow our lead
  5. noun the angle between the direction a gun is aimed and the position of a moving target (correcting for the flight time of the missile)
  6. noun the introductory section of a story
    lead-in; lede.
    • it was an amusing lead-in to a very serious matter
  7. noun (sports) the score by which a team or individual is winning
  8. noun an actor who plays a principal role
    star; principal.
  9. noun (baseball) the position taken by a base runner preparing to advance to the next base
    • he took a long lead off first
  10. noun an indication of potential opportunity
    hint; tip; steer; wind; confidential information.
    • he got a tip on the stock market
    • a good lead for a job
  11. noun a news story of major importance
    lead story.
  12. noun the timing of ignition relative to the position of the piston in an internal-combustion engine
    spark advance.
  13. noun restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal
    leash; tether.
  14. noun thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing
  15. noun mixture of graphite with clay in different degrees of hardness; the marking substance in a pencil
    pencil lead.
  16. noun a jumper that consists of a short piece of wire
    jumper cable; jumper lead; booster cable.
    • it was a tangle of jumper cables and clip leads
  17. noun the playing of a card to start a trick in bridge
    • the lead was in the dummy
  18. verb take somebody somewhere
    guide; conduct; take; direct.
    • We lead him to our chief
    • can you take me to the main entrance?
    • He conducted us to the palace
  19. verb have as a result or residue
    leave; result.
    • The water left a mark on the silk dress
    • Her blood left a stain on the napkin
  20. verb tend to or result in
    • This remark lead to further arguments among the guests
  21. verb travel in front of; go in advance of others
    • The procession was headed by John
  22. verb cause to undertake a certain action
    • Her greed led her to forge the checks
  23. verb stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point
    go; run; extend; pass.
    • Service runs all the way to Cranbury
    • His knowledge doesn't go very far
    • My memory extends back to my fourth year of life
    • The facts extend beyond a consideration of her personal assets
  24. verb be in charge of
    • Who is heading this project?
  25. verb be ahead of others; be the first
    • she topped her class every year
  26. verb be conducive to
    contribute; conduce.
    • The use of computers in the classroom lead to better writing
  27. verb lead, as in the performance of a composition; Barenboim conducted the Chicago symphony for years"
    direct; conduct.
    • conduct an orchestra
  28. verb lead, extend, or afford access
    • This door goes to the basement
    • The road runs South
  29. verb move ahead (of others) in time or space
  30. verb cause something to pass or lead somewhere
    • Run the wire behind the cabinet
  31. verb preside over
    chair; moderate.
    • John moderated the discussion

Lead noun
OE. led, leed, lead, AS. leád; akin to D. lood, MHG. l&omac;t, G. loth plummet, sounding lead, small weight, Sw. & Dan. lod.
  1. (Chem.) One of the elements, a heavy, pliable, inelastic metal, having a bright, bluish color, but easily tarnished. It is both malleable and ductile, though with little tenacity, and is used for tubes, sheets, bullets, etc. Its specific gravity is 11.37. It is easily fusible, forms alloys with other metals, and is an ingredient of solder and type metal. Atomic weight, 206.4. Symbol Pb (L. Plumbum). It is chiefly obtained from the mineral galena, lead sulphide.
  2. An article made of lead or an alloy of lead; as: (a) A plummet or mass of lead, used in sounding at sea. (b) (Print.) A thin strip of type metal, used to separate lines of type in printing. (c) Sheets or plates of lead used as a covering for roofs; hence, pl., a roof covered with lead sheets or terne plates.
    I would have the tower two stories, and goodly leads upon the top. Bacon
  3. A small cylinder of black lead or plumbago, used in pencils.
Lead transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Leaded; present participle & verbal noun Leading
  1. To cover, fill, or affect with lead; as, continuous firing leads the grooves of a rifle.
  2. (Print.) To place leads between the lines of; as, to lead a page; leaded matter.
Lead transitive verb
OE. leden, AS. ldan (akin to OS. ldian, D. leiden, G. leiten,Icel. lea, Sw. leda, Dan.lede), properly a causative fr. AS. lian to go; akin to OHG. la, Icel. la,Goth. leipan (in comp.). Cf. Lode, Loath.
imperfect & past participle Led ; present participle & verbal noun Leading
  1. To guide or conduct with the hand, or by means of some physical contact connection; as, a father leads a child; a jockey leads a horse with a halter; a dog leads a blind man.
    If a blind man lead a blind man, both fall down in the ditch. Wyclif (Matt. xv. 14.)
    They thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill. Luke iv. 29.
    In thy right hand lead with thee The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty. Milton.
  2. To guide or conduct in a certain course, or to a certain place or end, by making the way known; to show the way, esp. by going with or going in advance of. Hence, figuratively: To direct; to counsel; to instruct; as, to lead a traveler; to lead a pupil.
    The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way. Ex. xiii. 21.
    He leadeth me beside the still waters. Ps. xxiii. 2.
    This thought might lead me through the world's vain mask. Content, though blind, had I no better guide. Milton.
  3. To conduct or direct with authority; to have direction or charge of; as, to lead an army, an exploring party, or a search; to lead a political party.
    Christ took not upon him flesh and blood that he might conquer and rule nations, lead armies, or possess places. South.
  4. To go or to be in advance of; to precede; hence, to be foremost or chief among; as, the big sloop led the fleet of yachts; the Guards led the attack; Demosthenes leads the orators of all ages.
    As Hesperus, that leads the sun his way. Fairfax.
    And lo ! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest. Leigh Hunt.
  5. To draw or direct by influence, whether good or bad; to prevail on; to induce; to entice; to allure; as, to lead one to espouse a righteous cause.
    He was driven by the necessities of the times, more than led by his own disposition, to any rigor of actions. Eikon Basilike.
    Silly women, laden with sins,led away by divers lusts. 2 Tim. iii. 6 (Rev. Ver.).
  6. To guide or conduct one's self in, through, or along (a certain course); hence, to proceed in the way of; to follow the path or course of; to pass; to spend. Also, to cause (one) to proceed or follow in (a certain course).
    That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life. 1 Tim. ii. 2.
    Nor thou with shadowed hint confuse A life that leads melodious days. Tennyson.
    You remember . . . the life he used to lead his wife and daughter. Dickens.
  7. (Cards & Dominoes) To begin a game, round, or trick, with; as, to lead trumps; the double five was led.
Lead intransitive verb
  1. To guide or conduct, as by accompanying, going before, showing, influencing, directing with authority, etc.; to have precedence or preëminence; to be first or chief; -- used in most of the senses of lead, v. t.
  2. To tend or reach in a certain direction, or to a certain place; as, the path leads to the mill; gambling leads to other vices.
    The mountain foot that leads towards Mantua. Shak.
Lead noun
  1. The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another.
    At the time I speak of, and having a momentary lead, . . . I am sure I did my country important service. Burke.
  2. precedence; advance position; also, the measure of precedence; as, the white horse had the lead; a lead of a boat's length, or of half a second.
  3. (Cards & Dominoes) The act or right of playing first in a game or round; the card suit, or piece, so played; as, your partner has the lead.
  4. An open way in an ice field. Kane.
  5. (Mining) A lode.
  6. (Naut.) The course of a rope from end to end.
  7. (Steam Engine) The width of port opening which is uncovered by the valve, for the admission or release of steam, at the instant when the piston is at end of its stroke. ✍ When used alone it means outside lead, or lead for the admission of steam. Inside lead refers to the release or exhaust.
  8. (Civil Engineering) the distance of haul, as from a cutting to an embankment.
  9. (Horology) The action of a tooth, as a tooth of a wheel, in impelling another tooth or a pallet. Saunier.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

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