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  1. lead
    IPA[lēd]
  2. verb

    • 1. cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward:

      she emerged leading a bay horse
      Synonym : guide, conduct, show, show someone the way, lead the way, usher, escort, steer, pilot, marshal, shepherd, accompany, see, take, help, assist
    • 2. show (someone or something) the way to a destination by going in front of or beside them:

      she stood up and led her friend to the door
      Synonym : be at the head of, be at the front of, head, spearhead
    • 3. be a route or means of access to a particular place or in a particular direction:

      the door led to a long hallway
      Synonym : open onto, give onto, connect with/to, provide a route to, communicate with
    • 4. be a reason or motive for (someone):

      nothing that I have read about the case leads me to the conclusion that anything untoward happened a fascination for art led him to start a collection of paintings
    • 5. culminate in (a particular event):

      closing the plant will lead to the loss of 300 jobs fashioning a policy appropriate to the situation entails understanding the forces that led up to it
      Synonym : result in, cause, bring on, bring about, call forth, give rise to, be the cause of, make happen, create, produce, occasion, effect, engender, generate, contribute to, be conducive to, add to, be instrumental in, have a hand in, have a part in, help, promote, advance, precipitate, hasten, accelerate, quicken, push forward, prompt, expedite, further, speed up, provoke, stir up, spark off, trigger (off), set off, touch off, arouse, rouse, excite, foment, instigate, cost, involve, necessitate, invite, risk, elicit, entail, effectuate, conduce to
    • 6. be in charge or command of:

      a military delegation was led by the Chief of Staff
      Synonym : be the leader of, be the head of, preside over, hold sway over, head, command, direct, govern, rule, be in charge of, be in command of, be in control of, have control of, have charge of, regulate, supervise, superintend, oversee, chair, run, mastermind, orchestrate, control, conduct, guide, be at the helm of, take the chair of, administer, organize, manage, dominate, master, reign over, domineer, be in power over, head up, run the show, call the shots
    • 7. organize and direct:

      the conference included sessions led by people with personal knowledge of the area
    • 8. be the principal player of (a group of musicians):

      since the forties he has led his own big bands
      Synonym : be at the head of, be at the front of, head, spearhead
    • 9. set (a process) in motion:

      they are waiting for an expansion of world trade to lead a recovery
    • 10. start:

      the news on the radio led with the murder Ned leads off with a general survey of the objectives Donaldson led off with a double and took third on a grounder
    • 11. make an attack with (a particular punch or fist):

      Adam led with a left
    • 12. (of a base runner) advance one or more steps from the base one occupies while the pitcher has the ball:

      the runner leads from first
    • 13. (in card games) play (the first card) in a trick or round of play:

      he led the ace and another heart
    • 14. have the first place in (a competition); be ahead of (competitors):

      the veteran jockey was leading the field
      Synonym : be ahead, be winning, be in front, be out in front, be in the lead, be first, come first
    • 15. be superior to (competitors or colleagues):

      there will be specific areas or skills in which other nations lead the world
      Synonym : be at the front of, be first in, be ahead of, head, outdistance, outrun, outstrip, outpace, leave behind, get (further) ahead of, draw away from, shake off, outdo, excel, exceed, surpass, outclass, transcend, top, trump, cap, beat, better, widen the gap, leave standing, walk away from, run rings around, outrival, outvie
    • 16. have the advantage in a race or game:

      Dallas was fortunate to lead 85-72
      Synonym : be ahead, be winning, be in front, be out in front, be in the lead, be first, come first
    • 17. have or experience (a particular way of life):

      she's led a completely sheltered life

    noun

    • 1. the initiative in an action; an example for others to follow:

      the US is now taking the environmental lead
      Synonym : first position, head place, forefront, primacy, dominance, superiority, precedence, ascendancy, preeminence, supremacy, advantage, edge, upper hand, whip hand, head start
    • 2. a piece of information that may help in the resolution of a problem:

      detectives investigating the murder are chasing new leads he went to a health fair hoping to get some leads on a job
    • 3. a person or thing that may be useful, especially a potential customer or business opportunity:

      setting up a social networking page can help you get numerous leads the goal of marketing is to generate leads so the sales people can close them
    • 4. (in card games) an act or right of playing first in a trick or round of play:

      it's your lead
    • 5. the card played first in a trick or round:

      the ♦8 was an inspired lead
    • 6. a position of advantage in a contest; first place:

      they were beaten 5-3 after twice being in the lead
      Synonym : leading position, leading place, first place, advance position, van, vanguard, ahead, in front, winning, leading the field, to the fore, up front
    • 7. an amount by which a competitor is ahead of the others:

      the team held a slender one-goal lead
      Synonym : winning margin, margin, gap, interval
    • 8. an advance of one or more steps taken by a base runner from the base they occupy while the pitcher has the ball.

    • 9. the chief part in a play or film:

      she had the lead in a new film the lead role
      Synonym : leading role, star/starring role, star part, title role, principal part, star, principal character, male lead, female lead, leading man, leading lady, hero, heroine, protagonist
    • 10. the person playing the chief part:

      he still looked like a romantic lead
    • 11. the chief performer or instrument of a specified type:

      that girl will be your lead dancer
    • 12. the item of news given the greatest prominence in a newspaper, broadcast, etc.:

      the “pensions revolution” is the lead in the Times the lead story
    • 13. the opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story:

      the newswire will be offering two different leads for certain stories, so editors can pick and choose
    • 14. a leash for a dog or other animal:

      the dog is our constant walking companion and is always kept on a lead
      Synonym : leash, tether, rein, cord, rope, chain, line
    • 15. a wire that conveys electric current from a source to an appliance, or that connects two points of a circuit together.

    • 16. the distance advanced by a screw in one turn.

    • 17. an artificial watercourse leading to a mill.

    • 18. a channel of water in an ice field.

  3. Variation

    • n.: noun: lead, plural noun: leads

    • v.: verb: lead, 3rd person present: leads, gerund or present participle: leading, past tense: led, past participle: led

    • noun

      a heavy, bluish-gray, soft, ductile metal, the chemical element of atomic number 82. It has been used in roofing, plumbing, ammunition, storage batteries, radiation shields, etc., and its compounds have been used in crystal glass, as an antiknock agent in gasoline, and (formerly) in paints.

      an item or implement made of lead.

    • verb

      cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward:

      show (someone or something) the way to a destination by going in front of or beside them:

    • noun

      the initiative in an action; an example for others to follow:

      a piece of information that may help in the resolution of a problem:

    • noun

      a soft, heavy, ductile bluish-grey metal, the chemical element of atomic number 82. It has been used in roofing, plumbing, ammunition, storage batteries, radiation shields, etc., and its compounds have been used in crystal glass, as an anti-knock agent in petrol, and (formerly) in paints.

      used figuratively as a symbol of something heavy:

    • adjective

      (of windowpanes or a roof) framed, covered, or weighted with lead:

      (of gasoline) containing tetraethyl lead:

    • adjective

      (of windowpanes or a roof) framed, covered, or weighted with lead:

      (of petrol) containing tetraethyl lead:

    • adjective

      slow; clumsy:

      tending to drive too quickly.

    • noun

      (in a play or film) the chief part performed by a young actor or actress:

      the actor or actress performing the part of juvenile lead:

    • adjective

      (of an action) beginning a series or a process:

      denoting the first batter in a lineup or of an inning:

    • noun

      an introduction or preamble which allows one to move smoothly on to the next part of something:

      a wire leading in from outside, especially from an antenna to a receiver or transmitter.

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