Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

red lead

[led]
noun
  1. 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.
Show More
Compare litharge.

Origin of red lead

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Also called minium.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for red lead

Historical Examples

  • Chips was there the whole afternoon on his knees, messing with putty and red-lead.

    Chance

    Joseph Conrad

  • Perhaps the most interesting experiment made by Hales is the heating of minium (red-lead) with the production of oxygen.

  • Theophrastus mentions a substitute for vermilion, but, in spite of commentators, there is no evidence that it was red-lead.

    De Re Metallica

    Georgius Agricola

  • The Dhimal propitiate Data and Bedata by presents of betel-leaf and red-lead.

  • The joints between the rings of tubbing are made with sheet lead one-eighth of an inch thick, coated with red-lead.


British Dictionary definitions for red lead

red lead

noun
  1. 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
Show More
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