—v.t. 1. to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort: to lead a group on a cross-country hike. 2. to conduct by holding and guiding: to lead a horse by a rope. 3. to influence or induce; cause: Subsequent events led him to reconsider his position. 4. to guide in direction, course, action, opinion, etc.; bring: You can lead her around to your point of view if you are persistent. 5. to conduct or bring (water, wire, etc.) in a particular course.
6. (of a road, passage, etc.) to serve to bring (a person) to a place: The first street on the left will lead you to Andrews Place. 7. to take or bring: The prisoners were led into the warden's office. 8. to command or direct (an army or other large organization): He led the Allied forces during the war. 9. to go at the head of or in advance of (a procession, list, body, etc.); proceed first in: The mayor will lead the parade. 10. to be superior to; have the advantage over: The first baseman leads his teammates in runs batted in. 11. to have top position or first place in: Iowa leads the nation in corn production. 12. to have the directing or principal part in: The minister will now lead us in prayer. He led a peace movement. 13. to act as leader of (an orchestra, band, etc.); conduct.
14. to go through or pass (time, life, etc.): to lead a full life. 15. Cards.to begin a round, game, etc., with (a card or suit specified).
16. to aim and fire a firearm or cannon ahead of (a moving target) in order to allow for the travel of the target while the bullet or shell is reaching it.
17. Football.to throw a lead pass to (an intended receiver): The quarterback led the left end.
—v.i. 1. to act as a guide; show the way: You lead and we'll follow. 2. to afford passage to a place: That path leads directly to the house. 3. to go first; be in advance: The band will lead and the troops will follow. 4. to result in; tend toward (usually fol. by to): The incident led to his resignation. One remark often leads to another. 5. to take the directing or principal part.
6. to take the offensive: The contender led with a right to the body. 7. Cards.to make the first play.
8. to be led or submit to being led, as a horse: A properly trained horse will lead easily. 9. Baseball.(of a base runner) to leave a base before the delivery of a pitch in order to reach the next base more quickly (often fol. by away).
10. lead back,to play (a card) from a suit that one's partner led.
11. lead off, a. to take the initiative; begin.
b. Baseball.to be the first player in the batting order or the first batter in an inning.
12. lead on, a. to induce to follow an unwise course of action; mislead.
b. to cause or encourage to believe something that is not true.
13. lead out, a. to make a beginning.
b. to escort a partner to begin a dance: He led her out and they began a rumba. 14. lead someone a chase or dance, to cause someone difficulty by forcing to do irksome or unnecessary things.
15. lead the way. See way (def. 35).
16. lead up to, a. to prepare the way for.
b. to approach (a subject, disclosure, etc.) gradually or evasively: I could tell by her allusions that she was leading up to something.
—n. 1. the first or foremost place; position in advance of others: He took the lead in the race. 2. the extent of such an advance position: He had a lead of four lengths. 3. a person or thing that leads.
4. a leash.
5. a suggestion or piece of information that helps to direct or guide; tip; clue: I got a lead on a new job. The phone list provided some great sales leads. 6. a guide or indication of a road, course, method, etc., to follow.
7. precedence; example; leadership: They followed the lead of the capital in their fashions. 8. Theat. a. the principal part in a play.
b. the person who plays it.
9. Cards. a. the act or right of playing first, as in a round.
b. the card, suit, etc., so played.
10. Journalism. a. a short summary serving as an introduction to a news story, article, or other copy.
b. the main and often most important news story.
11. Elect.an often flexible and insulated single conductor, as a wire, used in connections between pieces of electric apparatus.
12. the act of taking the offensive.
13. Naut. a. the direction of a rope, wire, or chain.
b. Also called leader. any of various devices for guiding a running rope.
14. Naval Archit.the distance between the center of lateral resistance and the center of effort of a sailing ship, usually expressed decimally as a fraction of the water-line length.
15. an open channel through a field of ice.
16. Mining. a. a lode.
b. an auriferous deposit in an old riverbed.
17. the act of aiming a gun ahead of a moving target.
18. the distance ahead of a moving target that a gun must be aimed in order to score a direct hit.
19. Baseball.an act or instance of leading.
20. Manège.(of a horse at a canter or gallop) the foreleg that consistently extends beyond and strikes the ground ahead of the other foreleg: The horse is cantering on the left lead.
—adj. 1. most important; principal; leading; first: lead editorial; lead elephant. 2. Football.(of a forward pass) thrown ahead of the intended receiver so as to allow him to catch it while running.
3. Baseball.(of a base runner) nearest to scoring: They forced the lead runner at third base on an attempted sacrifice.
Pronunciation: (led),[key] —n. 1. Chem.a heavy, comparatively soft, malleable, bluish-gray metal, sometimes found in its natural state but usually combined as a sulfide, esp. in galena. Symbol: Pb; at. wt.: 207.19; at. no.: 82; sp. gr.: 11.34 at 20°C.
2. something made of this metal or of one of its alloys.
3. a plummet or mass of lead suspended by a line, as for taking soundings.
4. bullets collectively; shot.
5. black lead or graphite.
6. a small stick of graphite, as used in pencils.
7. Also,leading.Print.a thin strip of type metal or brass less than type-high, used for increasing the space between lines of type.
8. a grooved bar of lead or came in which sections of glass are set, as in stained-glass windows.
9. leads,Brit.a roof, esp. one that is shallow or flat, covered with lead.
10. See white lead. 11. get the lead out,Slang.to move or work faster; hurry up.
12. heave the lead,Naut.to take a sounding with a lead.
—v.t. 1. to cover, line, weight, treat, or impregnate with lead or one of its compounds.
2. Print.to insert leads between the lines of.
3. to fix (window glass) in position with leads.
—adj. 1. made of or containing lead: a lead pipe; a lead compound. 2. go over like a lead balloon,Slang.to fail to arouse interest, enthusiasm, or support.