verb (used with object), led, lead·ing.
verb (used without object), led, lead·ing.
- 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.
- a short summary serving as an introduction to a news story, article, or other copy.
- the main and often most important news story.
- the direction of a rope, wire, or chain.
- Also called leader. any of various devices for guiding a running rope.
- a lode.
- an auriferous deposit in an old riverbed.
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of lead1
SYNONYMS FOR lead
British Dictionary definitions for lead on (1 of 3)
British Dictionary definitions for lead on (2 of 3)
verb leads, leading or led (lɛd)
- 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 pass or spendI lead a miserable life
- to cause to pass a life of a particular kindto lead a person a dog's life
- the first, foremost, or most prominent place
- (as modifier)lead singer
- the principal news story in a newspaperthe scandal was the lead in the papers
- the opening paragraph of a news story
- (as modifier)lead story
- one's habitual attacking punch
- a blow made with this
Word Origin for lead
British Dictionary definitions for lead on (3 of 3)
- thin sheets or strips of lead used as a roof covering
- a flat or low-pitched roof covered with such sheets
- graphite or a mixture containing graphite, clay, etc, used for drawing
- a thin stick of this material, esp the core of a pencil
Derived Formsleadless, adjectiveleady, adjective
Word Origin for lead
Science definitions for lead on
Idioms and Phrases with lead on (1 of 2)
Entice someone into proceeding, mislead; also, deceive someone, especially pretending romantic interest. For example, He's leading her on to reveal more of her family history, or She's just leading him on; she has a serious boyfriend at home. [Late 1500s]
Idioms and Phrases with lead on (2 of 2)
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