From Middle English ledinge, ledynge, ledand, ledande, ledende, from Old English lǣdende, from Proto-Germanic *laidijandz, present participle of Proto-Germanic *laidijaną (“to lead”), equivalent to lead + -ing. Cognate with German Leitung (“lin, conduit, cable”). More at lead.
- present participle of
- 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 2, in The Celebrity:
- I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
leading (not comparable)
- Providing guidance or direction
- Avoid leading questions if you really want the truth.
- Ranking first
- He is a leading supplier of plumbing supplies in the county.
- Occurring in advance; preceding
- The stock market can be a leading economic indicator.
leading (plural leadings)
- An act by which one is led or guided
- 1792, William Carey, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the:
- It has been said that we ought not to force our way, but to wait for the openings, and leadings of Providence; but it might with equal propriety be answered in this case, neither ought we to neglect embracing those openings in providence which daily present themselves to us.
- 1855, Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass:
- […] I do not say leadings you thought great are not great, But I say that none lead to greater than these lead to.
- 1904, Edward Dowden, Robert Browning:
- In his poetic method each writer followed the leadings of his own genius, without reference to common rules and standards; the individualism of the Revolutionary epoch asserted itself to the full.