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Denotation vs. Connotation

leaden

[led-n] /ˈlɛd n/
adjective
1.
inertly heavy like lead; hard to lift or move:
a leaden weight; leaden feet.
2.
dull, spiritless, or gloomy, as in mood or thought:
leaden prose; a leaden atmosphere.
3.
of a dull gray color:
leaden skies.
4.
oppressive; heavy:
a leaden silence.
5.
sluggish; listless:
They moved at a leaden pace.
6.
of poor quality or little value.
7.
made or consisting of lead.
verb (used with object)
8.
to make leaden, sluggish, dull, etc.:
Fatigue had leadened his brain and step.
Origin of leaden
1000
before 1000; Middle English leden, Old English lēaden. See lead2, -en2
Related forms
leadenly, adverb
leadenness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for leaden
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Once more the guns belched forth their leaden shower, which went skipping over the water towards the flotilla.

    Ungava R.M. Ballantyne
  • The sky was dull and leaden, and cindery flakes of snow were thinly falling.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • The night closed in, and the fine rain, which had begun to fall in the afternoon, shrouded the vast markets in a leaden gloom.

  • God's wrath comes with leaden feet, but it strikes with iron hands.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But that leaden weight at my heart was too great for gratified vanity to lift.

    Life on the Stage Clara Morris
  • Those who had not been shot fell to the ground to escape the leaden hail.

  • The hours till then seemed to have leaden feet to the anxious young officer.

British Dictionary definitions for leaden

leaden

/ˈlɛdən/
adjective
1.
heavy and inert
2.
laboured or sluggish: leaden steps
3.
gloomy, spiritless, or lifeless
4.
made partly or wholly of lead
5.
of a dull greyish colour: a leaden sky
Derived Forms
leadenly, adverb
leadenness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for leaden
adj.

"made of lead," Old English leaden, from lead (n.1) + -en (2). The figurative sense of "heavy, oppressive, dull" is attested by 1570s. Related: Leadenly; leadenness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
9
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