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Definition of 'lead'


  1. a soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element; bluish white when freshly cut but tarnishes readily to dull grey; "the children were playing with lead soldiers"
       Synonyms: Pb atomic number 82
  2. an advantage held by a competitor in a race; "he took the lead at the last turn"
  3. evidence pointing to a possible solution; "the police are following a promising lead"; "the trail led straight to the perpetrator"
       Synonyms: track trail
  4. a position of leadership (especially in the phrase `take the lead'); "he takes the lead in any group"; "we were just waiting for someone to take the lead"; "they didn't follow our lead"
  5. the angle between the direction a gun is aimed and the position of a moving target (correcting for the flight time of the missile)
  6. the introductory section of a story; "it was an amusing lead-in to a very serious matter"
       Synonyms: lead-in lede
  7. (sports) the score by which a team or individual is winning
       Antonyms: deficit
  8. an actor who plays a principal role
       Synonyms: star principal
  9. (baseball) the position taken by a base runner preparing to advance to the next base; "he took a long lead off first"
  10. an indication of potential opportunity; "he got a tip on the stock market"; "a good lead for a job"
       Synonyms: tip steer confidential information wind hint
  11. a news story of major importance
       Synonyms: lead story
  12. the timing of ignition relative to the position of the piston in an internal-combustion engine
       Synonyms: spark advance
  13. restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal
       Synonyms: leash tether
  14. thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing
       Synonyms: leading
  15. mixture of graphite with clay in different degrees of hardness; the marking substance in a pencil
       Synonyms: pencil lead
  16. a jumper that consists of a short piece of wire; "it was a tangle of jumper cables and clip leads"
       Synonyms: jumper cable jumper lead booster cable
  17. the playing of a card to start a trick in bridge; "the lead was in the dummy"


  1. take somebody somewhere; "We lead him to our chief"; "can you take me to the main entrance?"; "He conducted us to the palace"
       Synonyms: take direct conduct guide
  2. have as a result or residue; "The water left a mark on the silk dress"; "Her blood left a stain on the napkin"
       Synonyms: leave result
  3. tend to or result in; "This remark lead to further arguments among the guests"
  4. travel in front of; go in advance of others; "The procession was headed by John"
       Synonyms: head
  5. cause to undertake a certain action; "Her greed led her to forge the checks"
  6. stretch out over a distance, space, time, or scope; run or extend between two points or beyond a certain point; "Service runs all the way to Cranbury"; "His knowledge doesn't go very far"; "My memory extends back to my fourth year of life"; "The facts extend beyond a consideration of her personal assets"
       Synonyms: run go pass extend
  7. be in charge of; "Who is heading this project?"
       Synonyms: head
  8. be ahead of others; be the first; "she topped her class every year"
       Synonyms: top
  9. be conducive to; "The use of computers in the classroom lead to better writing"
       Synonyms: contribute conduce
  10. lead, as in the performance of a composition; "conduct an orchestra; Barenboim conducted the Chicago symphony for years"
       Synonyms: conduct direct
  11. pass or spend; "lead a good life"
  12. lead, extend, or afford access; "This door goes to the basement"; "The road runs South"
       Synonyms: go
  13. move ahead (of others) in time or space
       Synonyms: precede
       Antonyms: follow
  14. cause something to pass or lead somewhere; "Run the wire behind the cabinet"
       Synonyms: run
  15. preside over; "John moderated the discussion"
       Synonyms: moderate chair

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