Welcome to the new LearnersDictionary.com. We want to hear your thoughts about the new design.


Learner's definition of LEAD  
: to guide someone to a place especially by going in front
[no object]
[+ object]
— often + to— often used as (be) led— often used figuratively
   b [+ object] : to go or be at the front part of (something)
[no object] : to lie or go in a specified direction— often used figuratively
: to guide the actions of a person or group: to be in charge of a person, group, activity, etc.
[no object]
[+ object]
[+ object] : to cause (a person, group, etc.) to do something or to follow some course of action— usually followed by to or to + verb
: to be first, best, or ahead in a race or competition
[no object]
[+ object]
— often used figuratively
[+ object] : to go through (life) in a certain way: to have (a specified kind of life)
: to begin play in a card game with (a certain card or kind of card)
[+ object]
[no object]
[no object] : to guide a dance partner through the steps of a dance
[+ object]law : to ask (a witness) a question in a way that suggests what the answer should be: to ask (a witness) a leading question

lead off

[phrasal verb]
lead off or lead (something) off or lead off (something) 
: to start something (such as an activity or performance) in a specified way
baseball : to be the first batter in an inning
— see also leadoff

lead on

[phrasal verb]
lead (someone) on 
: to cause (someone) to wrongly continue believing or doing something

lead someone a merry chase

(US)old-fashionedor Britishlead someone a (merry) dance
: to cause a series of troubles or worries for (someone)

lead someone (around) by the nose

— see 1nose

lead someone down/up the garden path

: to deceive someone: to cause someone to go, think, or proceed wrongly

lead the way

: to be the first person to go somewhere— often used figuratively

lead to

[phrasal verb]
lead to (something) 
: to result in (something)
— see also 1lead 1a, 4 (above)

lead up to

[phrasal verb]
lead up to (something) 
: to occur in the time that comes before (something)
: to come before and help to cause (something)
: to come before and help to introduce (something)

lead with

[phrasal verb]
lead with (something) 
: to begin something (such as a story or speech) with (something specified)
: to begin a series of punches in boxing with (a punch thrown by a specified hand)

the blind leading the blind

— see 1blind
Learner's definition of LEAD  
the lead 
: a position that is ahead of others
   b : a position that is ahead of others in a race or competition— often used figuratively
[count] : the amount or distance by which someone or something is ahead in a race or competition— usually singular
[count] : a piece of information that could help produce a desired result
especially : a piece of information that might help in solving a crime
: the main role in a movie or play
also : someone who plays the main role in movie or play
   b : the main performer in a group— usually used before another noun
: the beginning part of a news story
   b : the most important news story in a newspaper or broadcast
[count]baseball : a position taken by a runner at a distance from a base before a pitch is thrown
[count]chiefly British 
: 1leash
[count]chiefly British : a wire that carries electricity from a source to an electrical device (such as a lamp or radio): an electrical cord

follow someone's lead

: to do the same thing that someone else has done
— compare 3lead
Learner's definition of LEAD  
[noncount] : a heavy and soft metal that has a gray color— often used before another noun
: a thin stick of dark material used in pencils to make marks
[noncount]chiefly US, informal : bullets

get the lead out

US, informal
: to begin going or moving more quickly

go over/down like a lead balloon

— see 1balloon
— compare 2lead
Comments & Questions  
Comments & Questions
What made you want to look up lead? Include any comments and questions you have about this word.