Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of lead
Meaning of lead by Wiktionary Dictionary

lead


    Chemical elementPbPrevious: thallium ( Tl )Next: bismuth ( Bi )

    Etymology 1

    From Middle English leed, from Old English lēad ( “lead” ), from Proto-Germanic *laudan ( “lead” ), from Proto-Indo-European *lAudh- ( “lead” ). Cognate with Scots leid, lede ( “lead” ), North Frisian lud, luad ( “lead” ), West Frisian lead ( “lead” ), Dutch lood ( “lead” ), German Lot ( “solder, plummet, sounding line” ), Swedish lod ( “lead” ), Icelandic lóð ( “a plumb, weight” ), Irish luaidhe ( “lead” ), Lithuanian liudē ( “plumb, plummet, plumbline” ) .

    Alternative etymology suggests the possibility that Proto-Germanic *laudan may derive from Proto-Celtic *loudhom, from an assumed Proto-Italo-Celtic *ploudhom, from Proto-Indo-European *plou( d )- ( “to flow” ). If so, then cognate with Latin plumbum ( “lead” ). More at flow .

    Pronunciation

    • enPR: lĕd, IPA: /lɛd/, X-SAMPA: /lEd/
    • Homophone: led

    Noun

    lead ( countable and uncountable; plural: leads )

    1. ( uncountable ) A heavy, pliable, inelastic metal element, having a bright, bluish color, but easily tarnished; both malleable and ductile, though with little tenacity. It is easily fusible, forms alloys with other metals, and is an ingredient of solder and type metal. Atomic number 82, Atomic weight 206.4, Specific Gravity 11.37, Symbol Pb ( from Latin plumbum ) .
    2. ( countable ) A plummet or mass of lead attached to a line, used in sounding depth at sea or ( dated ) to estimate velocity in knots .
    3. A thin strip of type metal, used to separate lines of type in printing .
    4. ( uncountable, typography ) Vertical space in advance of a row or between rows of text. Also known as leading .
      This copy has too much lead; I prefer less space between the lines .
    5. Sheets or plates of lead used as a covering for roofs .
    6. ( plural: leads ) A roof covered with lead sheets or terne plates .
    7. ( countable ) A thin cylinder of black lead or plumbago ( graphite ) used in pencils .
    8. ( slang ) bullets
      They filled him full of lead .
    Derived terms


    Verb

    lead ( third-person singular simple present leads present participle leading, simple past and past participle leaded )

    1. ( transitive ) To cover, fill, or affect with lead; as, continuous firing leads the grooves of a rifle .
    2. ( transitive, printing ) To place leads between the lines of; as, to lead a page; leaded matter .
    Usage notes

    Note carefully these two senses are verbs derived from the noun referring to the metallic element, and are unrelated to the heteronym defined below under #Etymology 2 .

    See also

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English leden, from Old English lǣdan ( “to lead” ), from Proto-Germanic *laidijanan ( “to cause one to go, lead” ), causative of Proto-Germanic *līþanan ( “to go” ), from Proto-Indo-European *leit-, *leith- ( “to leave, die” ). Cognate with West Frisian liede ( “to lead” ), Dutch leiden ( “to lead” ), German leiten ( “to lead” ), Danish lede ( “to lead” ), Swedish leda ( “to lead” ). Related to Old English līþan ( “to go, travel” ) .

    Pronunciation

    • enPR: lēd, IPA: /liːd/, X-SAMPA: /li:d/
    • Homophones: leed, lede

    Verb

    lead ( third-person singular simple present leads present participle leading, simple past and past participle led )

    1. ( transitive ) 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 .
    2. ( transitive ) To guide or conduct in a certain course, or to a certain place or end, by making the way known; to show the way, especially by going with or going in advance of, to lead a pupil; to guide somebody somewhere or to bring somebody somewhere by means of instructions. Hence, figuratively: To direct; to counsel; to instruct; as, to lead a traveler .
    3. ( transitive ) 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; to command, especially a military or business unit
    4. ( transitive ) 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 .
    5. ( transitive ) 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 .
      The evidence leads me to believe he is guilty.
    6. ( transitive ) To guide or conduct oneself 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 ) .
    7. ( transitive, card games, dominoes ) To begin a game, round, or trick, with; as, to lead trumps
      He led a double five .
    8. ( intransitive ) To guide or conduct, as by accompanying, going before, showing, influencing, directing with authority, etc.; to have precedence or preeminence; to be first or chief; — used in most of the senses of the transitive verb .
    9. ( intransitive ) To be ahead of others, e.g., in a race
    10. ( intransitive ) To have the highest interim score in a game
    11. ( intransitive ) To be more advanced in technology or business than others
    12. ( intransitive ) 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. — Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, V-ii
    13. ( intransitive ) To lead off or out, to go first; to begin .
    14. To produce .
      The shock led to a change in his behaviour .
    15. ( baseball ) To step off base and move towards the next base .
      The batter always leads off base .
    16. ( shooting ) To aim in front of a moving target, in order that the shot may hit the target as it passes .
    Derived terms

    Noun

    lead ( countable and uncountable; plural: leads )

    1. ( uncountable ) The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction, course; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another .
    2. ( uncountable ) 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; the state of being ahead in a race; the highest score in a game in an incomplete game.
    3. ( countable ) a metallic wire for electrical devices and equipments
    4. ( baseball ) When a runner steps away from a base while waiting for the pitch to be thrown
      The runner took his lead from first .
    5. ( uncountable ) ( cards and 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 .
    6. ( countable ) A channel of open water in an ice field .
    7. ( countable, mining ) A lode .
    8. ( nautical ) The course of a rope from end to end .
    9. A rope, leather strap, or similar device with which to lead an animal; a leash
    10. In a 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.
    11. charging lead
    12. ( civil 工学 ) The distance of haul, as from a cutting to an embankment .
    13. ( horology ) The action of a tooth, as a tooth of a wheel, in impelling another tooth or a pallet. — Claudias Saunier
    14. Hypothesis that has not been pursued
      The investigation stalled when all leads turned out to be dead ends .
    15. Information obtained by a detective or police officer that allows him or her to discover further details about a crime or incident .
    16. ( marketing ) Potential opportunity for a sale or transaction, a potential customer .
      Joe is a great addition to our sales team, he has numerous leads in the paper industry .
    17. Information obtained by a news reporter about an issue or subject that allows him or her to discover more details .
    18. ( curling ) The player who throws the first two rocks for a team .
    19. ( newspapers ) A teaser; a lead in; the start of a newspaper column, telling who, what, when, where, why and how. ( Sometimes spelled as lede for this usage to avoid ambiguity. )
    20. An important news story that appears on the front page of a newspaper or at the beginning of a news broadcast
    21. ( engineering ) The axial distance a screw thread travels in one revolution. It is equal to the pitch times the number of starts .
    22. ( music ) In a barbershop quartet, the person who sings the melody, usually the second tenor
    Usage notes

    Note that these noun ( attributive ) uses are all derived from the verb, not the chemical element in #Etymology 1 .

    Derived terms

    Adjective

    lead ( not comparable )

    1. ( not comparable ) Foremost .
      The contestants are all tied; no one has the lead position .
    Synonyms

    See also

    • lead in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

    Statistics

    Anagrams

    Etymology

    From Proto-Germanic *laudan .

    Noun

    lēad n .

    1. lead ( metal )

    Descendants

    • English: lead
    • Scots: leid


Explanation of lead by Wordnet Dictionary

lead


    Verb
    1. cause to undertake a certain action

    2. preside over

    3. lead, as in the performance of a composition

    4. move ahead ( of others ) in time or space

    5. travel in front of

    6. take somebody somewhere

    7. We lead him to our chief
    8. be in charge of

    9. be conducive to

    10. The use of computers in the classroom lead to better writing
    11. have as a result or residue

    12. tend to or result in

    13. This remark lead to further arguments among the guests
    14. stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope

    15. lead, extend, or afford access

    16. cause something to pass or lead somewhere

    17. be ahead of others

    Noun
    1. the playing of a card to start a trick in bridge

    2. the lead was in the dummy
    3. a position of leadership

    4. he takes the lead in any group
      we were just waiting for someone to take the lead
      they didn't follow our lead
    5. a jumper that consists of a short piece of wire

    6. it was a tangle of jumper cables and clip leads
    7. mixture of graphite with clay in different degrees of hardness

    8. thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing

    9. restraint consisting of a rope ( or light chain ) used to restrain an animal

    10. the timing of ignition relative to the position of the piston in an internal-combustion engine

    11. an advantage held by a competitor in a race

    12. he took the lead at the last turn
    13. evidence pointing to a possible solution

    14. the police are following a promising lead
    15. the introductory section of a story

    16. it was an amusing lead-in to a very serious matter
    17. a news story of major importance

    18. an indication of potential opportunity

    19. a good lead for a job
    20. the position taken by a base runner preparing to advance to the next base

    21. he took a long lead off first
    22. an actor who plays a principal role

    23. the score by which a team or individual is winning

    24. the angle between the direction a gun is aimed and the position of a moving target ( correcting for the flight time of the missile )

    25. a soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element

    26. the children were playing with lead soldiers


    Definition of lead by GCIDE Dictionary

    lead


    1. Lead ( lĕd ), n. [OE. led, leed, lead, AS. leád; akin to D. lood, MHG. lōt, G. loth plummet, sounding lead, small weight, Sw. & Dan. lod. √123.]
      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 ( melting point 327.5° C ), forms alloys with other metals, and is an ingredient of solder and type metal. Atomic number 82. Atomic weight, 207.2. 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 plummet or mass of lead, used in sounding at sea. ( Print. ) A thin strip of type metal, used to separate lines of type in printing. 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 graphite, used in pencils.

      Black lead, graphite or plumbago; -- so called from its leadlike appearance and streak. [Colloq.] -- Coasting lead, a sounding lead intermediate in weight between a hand lead and deep-sea lead. -- Deep-sea lead, the heaviest of sounding leads, used in water exceeding a hundred fathoms in depth. Ham. Nav. Encyc. -- Hand lead, a small lead use for sounding in shallow water. -- Krems lead, Kremnitz lead [so called from Krems or Kremnitz, in Austria], a pure variety of white lead, formed into tablets, and called also Krems white, or Kremnitz white, and Vienna white. -- Lead arming, tallow put in the hollow of a sounding lead. See To arm the lead ( below ). -- Lead colic. See under Colic. -- Lead color, a deep bluish gray color, like tarnished lead. -- Lead glance. ( Min. ) Same as Galena. -- Lead line ( Med. ) A dark line along the gums produced by a deposit of metallic lead, due to lead poisoning. ( Naut. ) A sounding line. -- Lead mill, a leaden polishing wheel, used by lapidaries. -- Lead ocher ( Min. ), a
      massive sulphur-yellow oxide of lead. Same as Massicot. -- Lead pencil, a pencil of which the marking material is graphite ( black lead ). -- Lead plant ( Bot. ), a low leguminous plant, genus Amorpha ( Amorpha canescens ), found in the Northwestern United States, where its presence is supposed to indicate lead ore. Gray. -- Lead tree. ( Bot. ) A West Indian name for the tropical, leguminous tree, Leucæna glauca; -- probably so called from the glaucous color of the foliage. ( Chem. ) Lead crystallized in arborescent forms from a solution of some lead salt, as by suspending a strip of zinc in lead acetate. -- Mock lead, a miner's term for blende. -- Red lead, a scarlet, crystalline, granular powder, consisting of minium when pure, but commonly containing several of the oxides of lead. It is used as a paint or cement and also as an ingredient of flint glass. -- Red lead ore ( Min. ), crocoite. -- Sugar of lead, acetate of lead. -- To arm the lead, to fill the hollow in the bottom of a sounding lead with tallow
      in order to discover the nature of the bottom by the substances adhering. Ham. Nav. Encyc. -- To cast the lead, or To heave the lead, to cast the sounding lead for ascertaining the depth of water. -- White lead, hydrated carbonate of lead, obtained as a white, amorphous powder, and much used as an ingredient of white paint.

    2. Lead ( lĕd ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Leaded; p. pr. & vb. n. 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.”

    3. Lead ( lēd ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Led ( lĕd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Leading.] [OE. leden, AS. lǣdan ( akin to OS. lēdian, D. leiden, G. leiten, Icel. leīða, Sw. leda, Dan. lede ), properly a causative fr. AS. liðan to go; akin to OHG. līdan, Icel. līða, Goth. leiþan ( in comp. ). Cf. Lode, Loath.]
      1. To guide or conduct with the hand, or by means of some physical contact or 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.”

      To lead astray, to guide in a wrong way, or into error; to seduce from truth or rectitude. -- To lead captive, to carry or bring into captivity. -- To lead the way, to show the way by going in front; to act as guide. Goldsmith.

    4. Lead v. i.
      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.

      To lead off or To lead out, to go first; to begin; as, “Mickey Mantle led off in the fifth inning of the game”.

    5. Lead, n.
      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.

      10. ( Music. ) The announcement by one voice part of a theme to be repeated by the other parts. A mark or a short passage in one voice part, as of a canon, serving as a cue for the entrance of others.

      11. In an internal-combustion engine, the distance, measured in actual length of piston stroke or the corresponding angular displacement of the crank, of the piston from the end of the compression stroke when ignition takes place; -- called in full lead of the ignition. When ignition takes place during the working stroke the corresponding distance from the commencement of the stroke is called negative lead.

      12. ( Mach. ) The excess above a right angle in the angle between two consecutive cranks, as of a compound engine, on the same shaft.

      13. ( Mach. ) In spiral screw threads, worm wheels, or the like, the amount of advance of any point in the spiral for a complete turn.

      14. ( Elec. ) The angle between the line joining the brushes of a continuous-current dynamo and the diameter symmetrical between the poles. The advance of the current phase in an alternating circuit beyond that of the electromotive force producing it.

      15. ( Theat. ) A role for a leading man or leading woman; also, one who plays such a role.

      16. The first story in a newspaper or broadcast news program.

      17. an electrical conductor, typically as an insulated wire or cable, connecting an electrical device to another device or to a power source, such as a conductor conveying electricity from a dynamo.

      18. ( Baseball ) the distance a runner on base advances from one base toward the next before the pitch; as, “the long lead he usually takes tends to distract the pitchers”.

      Lead angle ( Steam Engine ), the angle which the crank maker with the line of centers, in approaching it, at the instant when the valve opens to admit steam. -- Lead screw ( Mach. ), the main longitudinal screw of a lathe, which gives the feed motion to the carriage.