lead pencil

lead pencil

[led]
noun
a writing or drawing implement made of graphite in a wooden or metal holder.

Origin:
1680–90

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lead pencil (lɛd)
 
n
a pencil in which the writing material is a thin stick of a graphite compound

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

lead pencil

slender rod of a solid marking substance, such as graphite, enclosed in a cylinder of wood, metal, or plastic; used as an implement for writing, drawing, or marking. In 1565 the German-Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner first described a writing instrument in which graphite, then thought to be a type of lead, was inserted into a wooden holder. Gesner was the first to describe graphite as a separate mineral, and in 1779 the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele showed it to be a form of carbon. The name graphite is from the Greek graphein, "to write." The modern lead pencil became possible when an unusually pure deposit of graphite was discovered in 1564 in Borrowdale, Cumberland, Eng.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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