to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort: to lead a group on a cross-country hike.
to conduct by holding and guiding: to lead a horse by a rope.
to influence or induce; cause: Subsequent events led him to reconsider his position.
to guide in direction, course, action, opinion, etc.; bring: You can lead her around to your point of view if you are persistent.
to conduct or bring (water, wire, etc.) in a particular course.
(of a road, passage, etc.) to serve to bring (a person) to a place: The first street on the left will lead you to Andrews Place.
to take or bring: The prisoners were led into the warden's office.
to command or direct (an army or other large organization): He led the Allied forces during the war.
to go at the head of or in advance of (a procession, list, body, etc.); proceed first in: The mayor will lead the parade.
to be superior to; have the advantage over: The first baseman leads his teammates in runs batted in.
to have top position or first place in: Iowa leads the nation in corn production.
to have the directing or principal part in: The minister will now lead us in prayer. He led a peace movement.
to act as leader of (an orchestra, band, etc.); conduct.
to go through or pass (time, life, etc.): to lead a full life.
Cards. to begin a round, game, etc., with (a card or suit specified).
to aim and fire a firearm or cannon ahead of (a moving target) in order to allow for the travel of the target while the bullet or shell is reaching it.
Football. to throw a lead pass to (an intended receiver): The quarterback led the left end.
to act as a guide; show the way: You lead and we'll follow.
to afford passage to a place: That path leads directly to the house.
to go first; be in advance: The band will lead and the troops will follow.
to result in; tend toward (usually followed by to): The incident led to his resignation. One remark often leads to another.
to take the directing or principal part.
to take the offensive: The contender led with a right to the body.
Cards. to make the first play.
to be led or submit to being led, as a horse: A properly trained horse will lead easily.
Baseball. (of a base runner) to leave a base before the delivery of a pitch in order to reach the next base more quickly (often followed by away).
lead back, to play (a card) from a suit that one's partner led.
the first or foremost place; position in advance of others: He took the lead in the race.
the extent of such an advance position: He had a lead of four lengths.
a person or thing that leads.
a suggestion or piece of information that helps to direct or guide; tip; clue: I got a lead on a new job. The phone list provided some great sales leads.
a guide or indication of a road, course, method, etc., to follow.
precedence; example; leadership: They followed the lead of the capital in their fashions.
the principal part in a play.
the person who plays it.
the act or right of playing first, as in a round.
the card, suit, etc., so played.
Electricity. an often flexible and insulated single conductor, as a wire, used in connections between pieces of electric apparatus.
the act of taking the offensive.
the direction of a rope, wire, or chain.
Also called leader . any of various devices for guiding a running rope.
Naval Architecture. the distance between the center of lateral resistance and the center of effort of a sailing ship, usually expressed decimally as a fraction of the water-line length.
an open channel through a field of ice.
an auriferous deposit in an old riverbed.
the act of aiming a gun ahead of a moving target.
the distance ahead of a moving target that a gun must be aimed in order to score a direct hit.
Baseball. an act or instance of leading.
Manège. (of a horse at a canter or gallop) the foreleg that consistently extends beyond and strikes the ground ahead of the other foreleg: The horse is cantering on the left lead.
most important; principal; leading; first: lead editorial;lead elephant;lead designer.
Football. (of a forward pass) thrown ahead of the intended receiver so as to allow him to catch it while running.
Baseball. (of a base runner) nearest to scoring: They forced the lead runner at third base on an attempted sacrifice.
to take the initiative; begin.
Baseball. to be the first player in the batting order or the first batter in an inning.
to induce to follow an unwise course of action; mislead.
to cause or encourage to believe something that is not true.
to make a beginning.
to escort a partner to begin a dance: He led her out and they began a rumba.
Idioms about lead
lead someone a chase / dance, to cause someone difficulty by forcing to do irksome or unnecessary things.
lead the way. way1 (def. 34).
lead up to,
to prepare the way for.
to approach (a subject, disclosure, etc.) gradually or evasively: I could tell by her allusions that she was leading up to something.
Other definitions for lead (2 of 2)
Chemistry. a heavy, comparatively soft, malleable, bluish-gray metal, sometimes found in its natural state but usually combined as a sulfide, especially in galena. Symbol: Pb; atomic weight: 207.19; atomic number: 82; specific gravity: 11.34 at 20°C.
something made of this metal or of one of its alloys.
a plummet or mass of lead suspended by a line, as for taking soundings.
bullets collectively; shot.
a small stick of graphite, as used in pencils.
Also leading. Printing. a thin strip of type metal or brass less than type-high, used for increasing the space between lines of type.
a grooved bar of lead or came in which sections of glass are set, as in stained-glass windows.
leads, British. a roof, especially one that is shallow or flat, covered with lead.
to cover, line, weight, treat, or impregnate with lead or one of its compounds.
Printing. to insert leads between the lines of.
to fix (window glass) in position with leads.
made of or containing lead: a lead pipe; a lead compound.
- leadless, adjective
- lead , led
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use lead in a sentence
Customer engagement, brand promotion, and lead generation are also the top activities of brands on social media.Five ways to use machine learning in digital marketing | Birbahadur Kathayat | February 12, 2021 | Search Engine Watch
The ad extension allows advertisers to opt in to having a lead form pop up directly in search results upon an ad click.Is Google moving toward being search marketing’s point of singularity: Thursday’s daily brief | Carolyn Lyden | February 11, 2021 | Search Engine Land
This has been a concern for a while on the SEO side, but lead form extensions expand this move into paid advertising.In-SERP lead forms convert Google Ads users without a click-through | Carolyn Lyden | February 10, 2021 | Search Engine Land
Like Target Impression Share, Maximize Clicks campaigns should focus more on awareness and leads than actual sales.Smart Bidding: Five ways machine learning improves PPC advertising | Gabrielle Sadeh | February 10, 2021 | Search Engine Watch
Ensure consistency to dominate local search and increase the visitor-to-lead conversion rate.A small business’ step-by-step guide to dominating local search in 2021 | Joseph Dyson | February 10, 2021 | Search Engine Watch
Such is her burgeoning popularity Toomey is looking to employ more instructors to lead her highly personalized exercise classes.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze | Lizzie Crocker | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
There were a lot of little pieces, pieces of lead and stuff.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile | Robert Ward | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Big Perm worries that the lack of policing the “small fry” will lead to more crimes by “big fry.”
Few reports of his mental illness discuss lead poisoning as a possible reason for his mental deterioration.Wrestler Mark Schultz Hates the ‘Sickening and Insulting Lies’ of ‘Foxcatcher’ | Rich Goldstein | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Sting took over the lead role to try to draw an audience, but his thumpingly inspirational score was already the hero of the show.Hedwig, Hugh & Michael Cera: 12 Powerhouse Theater Performances of 2014 | Janice Kaplan | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
These differences of interests will lead to disputes, ill blood, and finally to separation.
I looked round to see where our help was most wanted, and was about to lead them forward, when I heard the voice of the Alcalde.
He was mounted on a spirited horse and his manner showed he was ready for any kind of an adventure, no matter where it might lead.The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
The slightest yellowish-brown discoloration indicates the presence of lead.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
Such a refusal would lead to quick enquiry—enquiry to information—information to want of confidence and speedy ruin.
British Dictionary definitions for lead (1 of 2)
to show the way to (an individual or a group) by going with or ahead: lead the party into the garden
to guide or be guided by holding, pulling, etc: he led the horse by its reins
(tr) to cause to act, feel, think, or behave in a certain way; induce; influence: he led me to believe that he would go
(tr) to phrase a question to (a witness) that tends to suggest the desired answer
(when intr, foll by to) (of a road, route, etc) to serve as the means of reaching a place
(tr) to go ahead so as to indicate (esp in the phrase lead the way)
to guide, control, or direct: to lead an army
(tr) to direct the course of or conduct (water, a rope or wire, etc) along or as if along a channel
to initiate the action of (something); have the principal part in (something): to lead a discussion
to go at the head of or have the top position in (something): he leads his class in geography
(intr foll by with) to have as the first or principal item: the newspaper led with the royal birth
British to play first violin in (an orchestra)
(intr) (of an instrument or voice) to be assigned an important entry in a piece of music
to direct and guide (one's partner) in a dance
to pass or spend: I lead a miserable life
to cause to pass a life of a particular kind: to lead a person a dog's life
(intr foll by to) to tend (to) or result (in): this will only lead to misery
to initiate a round of cards by putting down (the first card) or to have the right to do this: she led a diamond
(tr) to aim at a point in front of (a moving target) in shooting, etc, in order to allow for the time of flight
(intr) boxing to make an offensive blow, esp as one's habitual attacking punch: southpaws lead with their right
lead astray to mislead so as to cause error or wrongdoing
lead by the nose See nose (def. 12)
the first, foremost, or most prominent place
(as modifier): lead singer
example, precedence, or leadership: the class followed the teacher's lead
an advance or advantage held over others: the runner had a lead of twenty yards
anything that guides or directs; indication; clue
another name for leash
the act or prerogative of playing the first card in a round of cards or the card so played
the principal role in a play, film, etc, or the person playing such a role
the principal news story in a newspaper: the scandal was the lead in the papers
the opening paragraph of a news story
(as modifier): lead story
music an important entry assigned to one part usually at the beginning of a movement or section
a wire, cable, or other conductor for making an electrical connection
one's habitual attacking punch
a blow made with this
nautical the direction in which a rope runs
a deposit of metal or ore; lode
the firing of a gun, missile, etc, ahead of a moving target to correct for the time of flight of the projectile
British Dictionary definitions for lead (2 of 2)
a heavy toxic bluish-white metallic element that is highly malleable: occurs principally as galena and used in alloys, accumulators, cable sheaths, paints, and as a radiation shield. Symbol: Pb; atomic no: 82; atomic wt: 207.2; valency: 2 or 4; relative density: 11.35; melting pt: 327.502°C; boiling pt: 1750°C: Related adjectives: plumbic, plumbeous, plumbous
a lead weight suspended on a line used to take soundings of the depth of water
swing the lead to malinger or make up excuses
lead weights or shot, as used in cartridges, fishing lines, etc
a thin grooved strip of lead for holding small panes of glass or pieces of stained glass
thin sheets or strips of lead used as a roof covering
a flat or low-pitched roof covered with such sheets
printing a thin strip of type metal used for spacing between lines of hot-metal type: Compare reglet (def. 2)
graphite or a mixture containing graphite, clay, etc, used for drawing
a thin stick of this material, esp the core of a pencil
(modifier) of, consisting of, relating to, or containing lead
go down like a lead balloon See balloon (def. 9)
to fill or treat with lead
to surround, cover, or secure with lead or leads
printing to space (type) by use of leads
- leadless, adjective
- leady, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for lead
A soft, ductile, heavy, bluish-gray metallic element that is extracted chiefly from galena. It is very durable and resistant to corrosion and is a poor conductor of electricity. Lead is used to make radiation shielding and containers for corrosive substances. It was once commonly used in pipes, solder, roofing, paint, and antiknock compounds in gasoline, but its use in these products has been curtailed because of its toxicity. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.2; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,744°C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4. See Periodic Table. See Note at element.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with lead
In addition to the idioms beginning with lead
- lead a chase
- lead a dog's life
- lead a double life
- lead by the nose
- lead down the garden path
- leading light
- leading question
- lead off
- lead on
- lead one to
- lead the way
- lead up the garden path
- lead up to
- lead with one's chin
- all roads lead to Rome
- blind leading the blind
- get the lead out of
- go over (like a lead balloon)
- put lead in one's pencil
- you can lead a horse to water
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.