1 [lee-ding]
chief; principal; most important; foremost: a leading toy manufacturer.
coming in advance of others; first: We rode in the leading car.
directing, guiding.
the act of a person or thing that leads.

1250–1300; Middle English (noun); see lead1, -ing2, -ing1

leadingly, adverb

3. ruling, governing.
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World English Dictionary
leading1 (ˈliːdɪŋ)
1.  guiding, directing, or influencing
2.  (prenominal) principal or primary
3.  in the first position: the leading car in the procession
4.  maths (of a coefficient) associated with the term of highest degree in a polynomial containing one variable: in 5x² + 2x + 3, 5 is the leading coefficient

leading2 (ˈlɛdɪŋ)
printing Also called: interlinear spacing the spacing between lines of photocomposed or digitized type

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"to guide," O.E. lædan "cause to go with one, lead," causative of liðan "to travel," from W.Gmc. *laithjan (cf. O.S. lithan, O.N. liða "to go," O.H.G. ga-lidan "to travel," Goth. ga-leiþan "to go"). Meaning "to be in first place" is from late 14c. The noun is first recorded c.1300,
"action of leading." Meaning "the front or leading place" is from 1560s. Johnson stigmatized it as "a low, despicable word." Sense in card-playing is from 1742; in theater, from 1831; in journalism, from 1927; in jazz bands, from 1934.

heavy metal, O.E. lead, from W.Gmc. *loudhom (cf. O.Fris. lad, M.Du. loot "lead," Ger. Lot "weight, plummet"). The name and the skill in using the metal seem to have been borrowed from the Celts (cf. O.Ir. luaide, probably from PIE base *plou(d)- "to flow"). Black lead was an old name for "graphite,"
hence lead pencil (1680s) and the colloquial figurative phrase to have lead in one's pencil "be possessed of (esp. male sexual) vigor," first attested 1941 in Australian slang. Lead balloon "a failure" is from 1960, Amer.Eng. slang. Lead-footed "slow" is from 1896; opposite sense of "fast" emerged 1940s in trucker's jargon, from notion of a foot heavy on the gas pedal.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

lead 1 (lēd)

  1. Any of the conductors designed to detect changes in electrical potential when situated in or on the body and connected to an instrument that registers and records these changes, such as an electrocardiograph.

  2. A record made from the current supplied by one of these conductors.

lead 2 (lěd)
Symbol Pb
A soft ductile dense metallic element. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.19; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,749deg;C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
lead   (lěd)  Pronunciation Key 
Symbol Pb
A soft, ductile, heavy, bluish-gray metallic element that is extracted chiefly from galena. It is very durable and resistant to corrosion and is a poor conductor of electricity. Lead is used to make radiation shielding and containers for corrosive substances. It was once commonly used in pipes, solder, roofing, paint, and antiknock compounds in gasoline, but its use in these products has been curtailed because of its toxicity. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.2; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,744°C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4. See Periodic Table. See Note at element.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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