[lead] vb led ; lead.ing [ME leden, fr. OE laedan; akin to OHG leiten to lead, OE lithan to go] vt (bef. 12c) 1 a: to guide on a way esp. by going in advance b: to direct on a course or in a direction c: to serve as a channel for "a pipe ~s water to the house"
2: to go through: live "~ a quiet life" 3 a (1): to direct the operations, activity, or performance of "~ an orchestra" (2): to have charge of "~ a campaign" (3): to suggest to (a witness) the answer desired by asking leading questions b (1): to go at the head of "~ a parade" (2): to be first in or among "~ the league" (3): to have a margin over "led his opponent"
4: to bring to some conclusion or condition "led to believe otherwise"
5: to begin play with "~ trumps"
6. a: to aim in front of (a moving object) "~ a duck" b: to pass a ball or puck just in front of (a moving teammate) ~ vi 1 a: to guide someone or something along a way b: to lie, run, or open in a specified place or direction "path ~s uphill" c: to guide a dance partner through the steps of a dance
2. a: to be first b (1): begin, open (2): to play the first card of a trick, round, or game
3: to tend toward or have a result "study ~ing to a degree"
4: to direct the first of a series of blows at an opponent in boxing syn see guide -- lead one down the garden path also lead one up the garden path : hoodwink, deceive
lead n (15c) 1 a (1): leadership (2): example, precedent b (1): position at the front: vanguard (2): initiative (3): the act or privilege of leading in cards; also: the card or suit led c: a margin or measure of advantage or superiority or position in advance
2: one that leads: as a: lode 1 b: a channel of water esp. through a field of ice c: indication, clue d: a principal role in a dramatic production; also: one who plays such a role e: leash 1 f (1): an introductory section of a news story (2): a news story of chief importance
3: an insulated electrical conductor connected to an electrical device
4: the course of a rope from end to end
5: the amount of axial advance of a point accompanying a complete turn of a thread (as of a screw or worm)
6: a position taken by a base runner off a base toward the next 7: the first punch of a series or an exchange of punches in boxing -- lead.less adj lead adj (1828): acting or serving as a lead or leader "a ~ article" lead n, often attrib [ME leed, fr. OE lead; akin to MHG lot lead] (bef. 12c) 1: a heavy soft malleable ductile plastic but inelastic bluish white metallic element found mostly in combination and used esp. in pipes, cable sheaths, batteries, solder, and shields against radioactivity
2. a: a plummet for sounding at sea b pl, Brit: a usu. flat lead roof c pl: lead framing for panes in windows d: a thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing 3 a: a thin stick of marking substance in or for a pencil b: white lead
4: bullets, projectiles
5: tetraethyl lead -- lead.less adj lead vt (14c) 1: to cover, line, or weight with lead
2: to fix (window glass) in position with leads
3: to put space between the lines of (typeset matter)
4: to treat or mix with lead or a lead compound "~ed gasoline"