Meaning of LEAD in English

I. ˈlēd verb

( led ˈled ; lead·ing )

Etymology: Middle English leden, from Old English lǣdan; akin to Old High German leiten to lead, Old English līthan to go

Date: before 12th century

transitive verb


a. : to guide on a way especially by going in advance

b. : to direct on a course or in a direction

c. : to serve as a channel for

a pipe lead s water to the house

2. : to go through : live

lead a quiet life



(1) : to direct the operations, activity, or performance of

lead an orchestra

(2) : to have charge of

lead a campaign

(3) : to suggest to (a witness) the answer desired by asking leading questions


(1) : to go at the head of

lead a parade

(2) : to be first in or among

lead 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

lead trumps


a. : to aim in front of (a moving object)

lead a duck

b. : to pass a ball or puck just in front of (a moving teammate)

intransitive verb


a. : to guide someone or something along a way

b. : to lie, run, or open in a specified place or direction

path lead s uphill

c. : to guide a dance partner through the steps of a dance


a. : to be first


(1) : begin , open

(2) : to play the first card of a trick, round, or game

3. : to tend toward or have a result

study lead ing to a degree

4. : to direct the first of a series of blows at an opponent in boxing

Synonyms: see guide

- lead one down the garden path

II. noun

Date: 15th century



(1) : leadership

(2) : example , precedent


(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 2

b. : a channel of water especially 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


(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 -ləs adjective

III. adjective

Date: 1828

: acting or serving as a lead or leader

a lead article

IV. ˈled noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English leed, from Old English lēad; akin to Middle High German lōt lead

Date: before 12th century

1. : a bluish-white soft malleable ductile plastic but inelastic heavy metallic element found mostly in combination and used especially in pipes, cable sheaths, batteries, solder, and shields against radioactivity — see element table


a. : a plummet for sounding at sea

b. plural , British : a usually flat lead roof

c. plural : lead framing for panes in windows

d. : a thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing


a. : a thin stick of marking substance (as graphite) in or for a pencil

b. : white lead

4. : bullets, projectiles

5. : tetraethyl lead

• lead·less -ləs adjective

V. ˈled transitive verb

Date: 14th century

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

lead ed gasoline

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.