verb (used with object)
to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort: to lead a group on a cross-country hike.
to conduct by holding and guiding: to lead a horse by a rope.
to influence or induce; cause: Subsequent events led him to reconsider his position.
to guide in direction, course, action, opinion, etc.; bring: You can lead her around to your point of view if you are persistent.
to conduct or bring (water, wire, etc.) in a particular course.
(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.
to take or bring: The prisoners were led into the warden's office.
to command or direct (an army or other large organization): He led the Allied forces during the war.
to go at the head of or in advance of (a procession, list, body, etc.); proceed first in: The mayor will lead the parade.
to be superior to; have the advantage over: The first baseman leads his teammates in runs batted in.
to have top position or first place in: Iowa leads the nation in corn production.
to have the directing or principal part in: The minister will now lead us in prayer. He led a peace movement.
to act as leader of (an orchestra, band, etc.); conduct.
to go through or pass (time, life, etc.): to lead a full life.
Cards. to begin a round, game, etc., with (a card or suit specified).
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.
a lead pass to (an intended receiver): The quarterback led the left end.
verb (used without object)
to act as a guide; show the way: You lead and we'll follow.
to afford passage to a place: That path leads directly to the house.
to go first; be in advance: The band will lead and the troops will follow.
to result in; tend toward (usually followed by to ): The incident led to his resignation. One remark often leads to another.
to take the directing or principal part.
to take the offensive: The contender led with a right to the body.
Cards. to make the first play.
to be led or submit to being led, as a horse: A properly trained horse will lead easily.
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 followed by away ).
lead back, to play (a card) from a suit that one's partner led.
the first or foremost place; position in advance of others: He took the lead in the race.
the extent of such an advance position: He had a lead of four lengths.
a person or thing that leads.
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.
a guide or indication of a road, course, method, etc., to follow.
precedence; example; leadership
: They followed the lead of the capital in their fashions.
35. Theater. a.
the principal part in a play.
the person who plays it.
36. Cards. a.
the act or right of playing first, as in a round.
the card, suit, etc., so played.
37. Journalism. a.
a short summary serving as an introduction to a news story, article, or other copy.
the main and often most important news story.
Electricity. an often flexible and insulated single conductor, as a wire, used in connections between pieces of electric apparatus.
the act of taking the offensive.
40. Nautical. a.
the direction of a rope, wire, or chain.
b. Also called leader.
any of various devices for guiding a running rope.
Naval Architecture. 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.
an open channel through a field of ice.
43. Mining. b.
an auriferous deposit in an old riverbed.
the act of aiming a gun ahead of a moving target.
the distance ahead of a moving target that a gun must be aimed in order to score a direct hit.
Baseball. an act or instance of leading.
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.
Verb phrases 48.
most important; principal; leading; first: lead editorial; lead elephant.
Football. (of a forward pass) thrown ahead of the intended receiver so as to allow him to catch it while running.
Baseball. (of a base runner) nearest to scoring: They forced the lead runner at third base on an attempted sacrifice.
51. lead off, a.
to take the initiative; begin.
Baseball. to be the first player in the batting order or the first batter in an inning.
52. lead on, a.
to induce to follow an unwise course of action; mislead.
to cause or encourage to believe something that is not true.
Idioms lead out, b.
to escort a partner to begin a dance: He led her out and they began a rumba.
lead someone a chase/dance, to cause someone difficulty by forcing to do irksome or unnecessary things.
55. lead the way. way1 ( def 34 )
56. lead up to, a.
to prepare the way for.
to approach (a subject, disclosure, etc.) gradually or evasively: I could tell by her allusions that she was leading up to something.
before 900; Middle English leden, Old English lǣdan (causative of līthan to go, travel); cognate with Dutch leiden, German leiten, Old Norse leitha
accompany, precede. See guide
persuade, convince. 10.
excel, outstrip, surpass. 28.