red lead

[ led ]
/ lɛd /


an orange to red, heavy, earthy, water-insoluble, poisonous powder, Pb3O4, obtained by heating litharge in the presence of air: used chiefly as a paint pigment, in the manufacture of glass and glazes, and in storage batteries.
Compare litharge.

Origin of red lead

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Also called minium. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for red lead

British Dictionary definitions for red lead

red lead
/ (lɛd) /


a bright-red poisonous insoluble oxide of lead usually obtained as a powder by heating litharge in air. It is used as a pigment in paints. Formula: Pb 3 O 4Also called: minium
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