Definition of LEAD

ˈlēd How to pronounce lead (audio) led ˈled How to pronounce lead (audio) ; leading

transitive verb

1a : to guide on a way especially by going in advance led the officers to his hiding place

b : to direct on a course or in a direction a road leading the traveler to the heart of the city

c : to serve as a channel for a pipe leads water to the house

2 : to go through : live lead a quiet life

3a(1) : to direct the operations, activity, or performance of lead an orchestra

(2) : to have charge of lead a campaign

(3) : to suggest to (a witness) the answer desired by asking leading questions counsel is leading this witness, putting words in her mouth— Erle Stanley Gardner

b(1) : to go at the head of lead a parade

(2) : to be first in or among lead the league

(3) : to have a margin over led his opponent

4 : to bring to some conclusion or condition led to believe otherwise

5 : to begin play with lead trumps

6a : to aim in front of (a moving object) lead a duck

b : to pass a ball or puck just in front of (a moving teammate)

intransitive verb

1a : to guide someone or something along a way You lead and we’ll follow.

b : to lie, run, or open in a specified place or direction path leads uphill

c : to guide a dance partner through the steps of a dance

2a : to be first This state leads in population.

b(1) : begin, open will lead off with a Christmas story— Richard Bissell (2) : to play the first card of a trick, round, or game

3 : to tend toward or have a result study leading to a degree

4 : to direct the first of a series of blows at an opponent in boxing

lead one down the garden path or less commonly lead one up the garden path : hoodwink, deceive I’d rather he be disappointed with the truth rather than lead him down the garden path— Harold Robbins ˈlēd How to pronounce lead (audio) 1a(1) : leadership look to the president for a unifying lead— D. W. Brogan b(1) : position at the front : vanguard The runner from Kenya was in the lead for most of the race. (2) : initiative took the lead in fighting the measure

(3) : the act or privilege of playing first in a card game Your partner has the lead. also : the card or suit played first His lead was the ace.

c : a margin or measure of advantage or superiority or position in advance enjoys a good lead over all competitors

2 : one that leads: such as

b : a channel of water especially through a field of ice

d : a principal role in a dramatic production She was the romantic lead in the movie. also : one who plays such a role f(1) : an introductory section of a news story : lede edit the lead to grab the reader’s attention

(2) : a news story of chief importance The story of his arrest was the lead in newspapers across the country.

3 : an insulated electrical conductor connected to an electrical device

4 : the course of a rope from end to end

5 : the amount of axial (see axial sense 2a) advance of a point accompanying a complete turn of a thread (as of a screw or worm)

6 : a position taken by a base runner off a base toward the next The runner on first took a big lead.

7 : the first punch of a series or an exchange of punches in boxing

ˈlēd How to pronounce lead (audio) ˈled How to pronounce lead (audio) 1 : a soft, heavy, metallic element with atomic number 82 found mostly in combination and used especially in alloys, batteries, and shields against sound, vibration, or radiation — see Chemical Elements Table

b leads plural, British : a usually flat lead roof

c leads plural : lead framing for panes in windows

d : a thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing

3a : a thin stick of marking substance (such as graphite) in or for a pencil

ˈled How to pronounce lead (audio)

transitive verb

2 : to fix (window glass) in position with leads

3 : to put space between the lines of (typeset matter)

4 : to treat or mix with lead or a lead compound leaded gasoline