by 1965, alternative spelling of lead (n.2) in the newspaper journalism sense (see lead (v.)), to distinguish this sense from other possible meanings of the written word, perhaps especially the molten lead (n.1) used in typesetting machines.
Examples from the Web for lede
Either the Times buried the lede, or the perils of “oversharing” is the lede.
That can mean rewriting wire copy to put the part most embarrassing to Democrats in the lede.Joe Muto, ‘the Fox Mole,’ on His New Book, ‘An Atheist in the Foxhole’|David Freedlander|June 10, 2013|DAILY BEAST
And another story today at the Jewish Press, under a credulous headline, admitted the story might not be right in its lede.How Israeli Government Officials Fueled A Conspiracy Website Story About Iran|Ali Gharib|January 28, 2013|DAILY BEAST
A Funeral This video, reports the Lede, "is said to show a funeral on Tuesday for two people killed in the raid on the square."
Item, to apoint a knyght or a squier to lede the chieff morner.Highways and Byways in Surrey|Eric Parker
The forms of the minne songs were the song (lede), lay (lerch), proverb (spruch).A Popular History of the Art of Music|W. S. B. Mathews
Geta lede hrewic heldon, the Getas held the place of corpses (lay dead upon it), 1215; pret.Beowulf|Unknown
That is openede thus; lede the rote of o quadrat into the rote of the oer quadrat, and an wolle e meene shew.The Earliest Arithmetics in English|Anonymous
Her bones were closid in lede, and withyn that bones were closyd yn lether.Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Volume II (of 3)|Thomas Percy