lead

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Chemical element
Pb Previous: thallium (Tl)
Next: bismuth (Bi)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English leed, from Old English lēad (lead), from Proto-Germanic *laudą (lead), from Proto-Indo-European *lAudh- (lead). Cognate with Scots leid, lede (lead), North Frisian lud, luad (lead), West Frisian lead (lead), Dutch lood (lead), German Lot (solder, plummet, sounding line), Swedish lod (lead), Icelandic lóð (a plumb, weight), Irish luaidhe (lead), Lithuanian liudē (plumb, plummet, plumbline).

Alternative etymology suggests the possibility that Proto-Germanic *laudan may derive from Proto-Celtic *loudhom, from an assumed Proto-Italo-Celtic *ploudhom, from Proto-Indo-European *plou(d)- (to flow). If so, then cognate with Latin plumbum (lead). More at flow.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lead (countable and uncountable, plural leads)

  1. (uncountable) A heavy, pliable, inelastic metal element, having a bright, bluish color, but easily tarnished; both malleable and ductile, though with little tenacity. It is easily fusible, forms alloys with other metals, and is an ingredient of solder and type metal. Atomic number 82, symbol Pb (from Latin plumbum).
  2. (countable) A plummet or mass of lead attached to a line, used in sounding depth at sea or (dated) to estimate velocity in knots.
  3. A thin strip of type metal, used to separate lines of type in printing.
  4. (uncountable, typography) Vertical space in advance of a row or between rows of text. Also known as leading.
    This copy has too much lead; I prefer less space between the lines.
  5. Sheets or plates of lead used as a covering for roofs.
  6. (plural leads) A roof covered with lead sheets or terne plates.
    • I would have the tower two stories, and goodly leads upon the top. — Bacon
  7. (countable) A thin cylinder of black lead or plumbago (graphite) used in pencils.
  8. (slang) Bullets; ammunition.
    They filled him full of lead.
Derived terms[edit]


Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

lead (third-person singular simple present leads, present participle leading, simple past and past participle leaded)

  1. (transitive) To cover, fill, or affect with lead; as, continuous firing leads the grooves of a rifle.
  2. (transitive, printing) To place leads between the lines of; as, to lead a page; leaded matter.
Usage notes[edit]

Note carefully these two senses are verbs derived from the noun referring to the metallic element, and are unrelated to the heteronym defined below under #Etymology 2.

Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

From Middle English leden, from Old English lǣdan (to lead), from Proto-Germanic *laidijaną (to cause one to go, lead), causative of Proto-Germanic *līþaną (to go), from Proto-Indo-European *leit-, *leith- (to leave, die). Cognate with West Frisian liede (to lead), Dutch leiden (to lead), German leiten (to lead), Danish lede (to lead), Swedish leda (to lead). Related to Old English līþan (to go, travel).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

lead (third-person singular simple present leads, present participle leading, simple past and past participle led)

  1. (transitive) To guide or conduct with the hand, or by means of some physical contact connection; as, a father leads a child; a jockey leads a horse with a halter; a dog leads a blind man.
    • John Wycliffe on Matthew 15:14
      If a blind man lead a blind man, both fall down in the ditch.
    • Luke 4:29
      They thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill.
    • John Milton
      In thy right hand lead with thee / The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty.
  2. (transitive) To guide or conduct in a certain course, or to a certain place or end, by making the way known; to show the way, especially by going with or going in advance of, to lead a pupil; to guide somebody somewhere or to bring somebody somewhere by means of.instructions. Hence, figuratively: To direct; to counsel; to instruct; as, to lead a traveler.
    • Exodus 13:21
      The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way.
    • Psalms 23:2
      He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    • Milton
      This thought might lead me through the world’s vain mask. Content, though blind, had I no better guide.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
  3. (transitive) To conduct or direct with authority; to have direction or charge of; as, to lead an army, an exploring party, or a search; to lead a political party; to command, especially a military or business unit.
    • Robert South
      Christ took not upon him flesh and blood that he might conquer and rule nations, lead armies, or possess places.
  4. (transitive) To go or to be in advance of; to precede; hence, to be foremost or chief among; as, the big sloop led the fleet of yachts; the Guards led the attack; Demosthenes leads the orators of all ages.
    • Edward Fairfax, translating Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered.
      As Hesperus, that leads the sun his way.
    • Leigh Hunt
      And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
      “Well,” I answered, at first with uncertainty, then with inspiration, “he would do splendidly to lead your cotillon, if you think of having one.” ¶ “So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker?” ¶ I was somewhat set back by her perspicuity.
  5. (transitive) To draw or direct by influence, whether good or bad; to prevail on; to induce; to entice; to allure; as, to lead one to espouse a righteous cause.
    • Eikon Basilike
      He was driven by the necessities of the times, more than led by his own disposition, to any rigor of actions.
    • 2 Timothy 3:6.
      Silly women, laden with sins, led away by divers lusts.
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “Our banks are out of control”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21: 
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible, there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.
  6. (transitive) To guide or conduct oneself in, through, or along (a certain course); hence, to proceed in the way of; to follow the path or course of; to pass; to spend. Also, to cause (one) to proceed or follow in (a certain course).
    The evidence leads me to believe he is guilty.
  7. (transitive, card games, dominoes) To begin a game, round, or trick, with; as, to lead trumps.
    He led the ace of spades.
  8. (intransitive) To guide or conduct, as by accompanying, going before, showing, influencing, directing with authority, etc.; to have precedence or preeminence; to be first or chief; — used in most of the senses of the transitive verb.
  9. (intransitive) To be ahead of others, e.g., in a race.
  10. (intransitive) To have the highest interim score in a game.
  11. (intransitive) To be more advanced in technology or business than others.
  12. (intransitive) To tend or reach in a certain direction, or to a certain place; as, the path leads to the mill; gambling leads to other vices.
    • ca. 1590, Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, V-ii
      The mountain-foot that leads towards Mantua.
    • 2013 August 10, “Can China clean up fast enough?”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8848: 
      All this has led to an explosion of protest across China, including among a middle class that has discovered nimbyism. That worries the government, which fears that environmental activism could become the foundation for more general political opposition. It is therefore dealing with pollution in two ways—suppression and mitigation.
  13. (intransitive) To lead off or out, to go first; to begin.
  14. To produce.
    • 2013 August 3, “Yesterday’s fuel”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      The dawn of the oil age was fairly recent. Although the stuff was used to waterproof boats in the Middle East 6,000 years ago, extracting it in earnest began only in 1859 after an oil strike in Pennsylvania. [] It was used to make kerosene, the main fuel for artificial lighting after overfishing led to a shortage of whale blubber. Other liquids produced in the refining process, too unstable or smoky for lamplight, were burned or dumped.
    The shock led to a change in his behaviour.
  15. (baseball) To step off base and move towards the next base.
    The batter always leads off base.
  16. (shooting) To aim in front of a moving target, in order that the shot may hit the target as it passes.
  17. Common misspelling of led.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

lead (countable and uncountable, plural leads)

  1. (uncountable) The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction, course; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another.
    • At the time I speak of, and having a momentary lead, . . . I am sure I did my country important service. — Edmund Burke
  2. (uncountable) Precedence; advance position; also, the measure of precedence; as, the white horse had the lead; a lead of a boat’s length, or of half a second; the state of being ahead in a race; the highest score in a game in an incomplete game.
    • 2010 December 28, Kevin Darlin, “West Brom 1 - 3 Blackburn”, BBC:
      Blackburn then regained the lead with a simplest of set-piece goals
  3. (countable) a metallic wire for electrical devices and equipments
  4. (baseball) When a runner steps away from a base while waiting for the pitch to be thrown
    The runner took his lead from first.
  5. (uncountable) (cards and dominoes) The act or right of playing first in a game or round; the card suit, or piece, so played; as, your partner has the lead.
  6. (countable) A channel of open water in an ice field.
  7. (countable, mining) A lode.
  8. (nautical) The course of a rope from end to end.
  9. A rope, leather strap, or similar device with which to lead an animal; a leash
  10. In a steam engine, The width of port opening which is uncovered by the valve, for the admission or release of steam, at the instant when the piston is at end of its stroke.
    • Usage note: When used alone it means outside lead, or lead for the admission of steam. Inside lead refers to the release or exhaust.
  11. charging lead
  12. (civil engineering) The distance of haul, as from a cutting to an embankment.
  13. (horology) The action of a tooth, as a tooth of a wheel, in impelling another tooth or a pallet. — Claudias Saunier
  14. Hypothesis that has not been pursued
    The investigation stalled when all leads turned out to be dead ends.
  15. Information obtained by a detective or police officer that allows him or her to discover further details about a crime or incident.
  16. (marketing) Potential opportunity for a sale or transaction, a potential customer.
    Joe is a great addition to our sales team, he has numerous leads in the paper industry.
  17. Information obtained by a news reporter about an issue or subject that allows him or her to discover more details.
  18. (curling) The player who throws the first two rocks for a team.
  19. (newspapers) A teaser; a lead in; the start of a newspaper column, telling who, what, when, where, why and how. (Sometimes spelled as lede for this usage to avoid ambiguity.)
  20. An important news story that appears on the front page of a newspaper or at the beginning of a news broadcast
  21. (engineering) The axial distance a screw thread travels in one revolution. It is equal to the pitch times the number of starts.
  22. (music) In a barbershop quartet, the person who sings the melody, usually the second tenor
Usage notes[edit]

Note that these noun (attributive) uses are all derived from the verb, not the chemical element in #Etymology 1.

Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Adjective[edit]

lead (not comparable)

  1. (not comparable) Foremost.
    The contestants are all tied; no one has the lead position.
Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Hungarian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

le- + ad

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈlɛɒd/
  • Hyphenation: le‧ad

Verb[edit]

lead (infinitive leadni)

  1. To pass down, to hand down, to turn in, to drop off.
  2. To lose weight, usually as a result of some kind of training or exercise.

Conjugation[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


Old English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Germanic *laudą.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • Hyphenation: lē‧ad

Noun[edit]

lēad n

  1. lead (metal)

Descendants[edit]