lead1 W1S1 [li:d] v past tense and past participle led [led]
1¦(take somebody somewhere)¦
2¦(go in front)¦
3¦(be in charge)¦
4¦(cause something to happen)¦
5¦(cause somebody to believe something)¦
7¦(be more successful)¦
8¦(be winning)¦
9¦(path/door etc)¦
11¦(discussion etc)¦
12 lead somebody up the garden path
13 lead somebody astray
14 lead nowhere/not lead anywhere
15 lead by example
16 lead somebody by the nose
17 this/that leads (me) to something
18 somebody has their own life to lead
19 lead somebody a merry old dance/a right old dance
20 market-led/export-led etc
21 lead the eye
22¦(card game)¦
Phrasal verbs
 lead off
 lead somebody on
 lead on to something
 lead with something
 lead up to something
[: Old English; Origin: lAdan]
to take someone somewhere by going in front of them while they follow, or by pulling them gently
lead sb to/into etc sth
A nurse took her arm and led her to a chair.
The horses were led to safety .
lead sb away/down etc
She was led away from the courtroom in tears.
The manager led the way through the office.
see usage notedirect2
2.) ¦(GO IN FRONT)¦ [I and T]
to go in front of a line of people or vehicles
A firetruck was leading the parade.
3.) ¦(BE IN CHARGE)¦ [I and T]
to be in charge of an organization, country, or team, or a group of people who are trying to do something
He has led the party for over twenty years.
Some people say she is too old to lead the country (=be in charge of its government) .
Beckham led his team to victory .
lead an investigation/inquiry/campaign
The investigation will be led by Inspector Scarfe.
They are leading a campaign to warn teenagers about the dangers of drug abuse.
lead a revolt/rebellion/coup etc
The rebellion was led by the King's brother.
lead an attack/assault
Nelson preferred to lead the attack himself from the front.
a man who was born to lead
a communist-led strike
to cause something to happen or cause someone to do something
lead to
the events that led to the start of the First World War
A degree in English could lead to a career in journalism.
lead sb into sth
Her trusting nature often led her into trouble .
lead sb to do sth
What led him to kill his wife?
lead to sb doing sth
His actions could lead to him losing his job.
to make someone believe something, especially something that is not true
lead sb to believe/expect/understand sth
He had led everyone to believe that his family was very wealthy.
The hotel was terrible, and not at all what we had been led to expect.
Our research led us to the conclusion that the present system is unfair.
6.) ¦(INFLUENCE)¦ [T]
to influence someone to make them do something that is wrong
lead sb into sth
His brother led him into a life of crime.
He's not a bad boy. He's just easily led (=it is easy for other people to persuade him to do things that he should not do) .
to be more successful than other people, companies, or countries in a particular activity
lead the world/market/pack/field
US companies lead the world in biotechnology.
lead the way
(=be the first to do something, and show other people how to do it)
The Swedes have led the way in data protection.
→↑leading1 (1)
8.) ¦(BE WINNING)¦ [I and T]
to be winning a game, competition etc
≠ ↑lose
At half-time, Brazil led 1-0.
With 15 laps to go, Schumacher led the race.
The polls showed Clinton leading Bush 55 percent to 34 percent.
lead by ten points/two goals etc
Agassi was leading by two sets.
9.) ¦(PATH/DOOR ETC)¦ [I,T always + adverb/preposition]
used to say where a path, wire etc goes or what place is on the other side of a door
lead to/towards
The path led down to a small lake.
lead from/out of
the major artery leading from the heart
lead into
the door leading into the hallway
lead sb to/into sth
The riverside path leads visitors to a small chapel.
10.)¦(LIFE)¦ [T]
if you lead a particular kind of life, that is what your life is like
lead a normal/quiet/busy etc life
If the operation succeeds, Carly will be able to lead a normal life.
He has led a charmed life (=been very fortunate) .
lead a life of luxury/poverty etc
lead the life of a ...
She now leads the life of a recluse.
lead a double life
(=deceive people by keeping different parts of your life separate and not letting anyone know the whole truth)
Joe had been leading a double life, seeing an ex-model while his wife believed he was on business.
They lead a nomadic existence .
11.) ¦(DISCUSSION ETC)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition]
to control the way a discussion, conversation etc develops
I tried to lead the conversation back to the subject of money.
12.) lead sb up the garden path informal
to deliberately deceive someone
13.) lead sb astray
a) to encourage someone to do bad or immoral things, which they would not normally do
b) to make someone believe something that is not true
14.) lead nowhere/not lead anywhere
to not produce any useful result
So far police investigations seem to have led nowhere.
15.) lead by example
to show the people you are in charge of what you want them to do by doing it yourself
The best managers lead by example.
16.) lead sb by the nose
to influence someone so much that you can completely control everything that they do
Politicians think they can easily lead people by the nose.
17.) this/that leads (me) to sth
used to introduce a new subject that is connected to the previous one
That leads me to my final point. Where are we going to get the money?
18.) sb has their own life to lead
used to say that someone wants to be able to live their life independently, without having to do things that other people want them to do
19.) lead sb a merry old dance/a right old dance
BrE to cause a lot of problems or worries for someone
20.) market-led/export-led etc
most influenced by the market, by ↑export s etc
an export-led economic recovery
21.) lead the eye
if a picture, view etc leads the eye in a particular direction, it makes you look in that direction
marble columns that lead the eye upward
22.) ¦(CARD GAME)¦ [I and T]
to play a particular card as your first card in one part of a card game
lead off phr v
1.) to start a meeting, discussion, performance etc by saying or doing something
I'd like to lead off by thanking Rick for coming.
lead off with
The French team led off with two quick goals in the first five minutes.
lead sth<=>off
Hal led the evening off with some folk songs.
2.) lead off (sth)
if a road, room etc leads off a place, you can go directly from that place along that road, into that room etc
lead off from sth
He pointed down a street leading off from the square.
a large room, with doors leading off it in all directions
3.) to be the first player to try to hit the ball in an ↑inning (=period of play) in a game of baseball
lead on [lead sb on] phr v
to deceive someone, especially to make them think you love them
He thought she loved him, but in fact she was just leading him on.
lead on to [lead on to sth] phr v
to cause something to develop or become possible at a later time
Alan Turing's work led onto the development of modern computers.
lead with [lead with sth] phr v
1.) if a newspaper or television programme leads with a particular story, that story is the main one
The Washington Post leads with the latest news from Israel.
2.) to use a particular hand to begin an attack in ↑boxing, or a particular foot to begin a dance
Adam led with his left and punched his opponent on the jaw.
lead up to [lead up to sth] phr v
1.) if a series of events or a period of time leads up to an event, it comes before it or causes it
the weeks that led up to her death
the events leading up to his dismissal
2.) to gradually introduce an embarrassing, upsetting, or surprising subject into a conversation
She had already guessed what he was leading up to.
lead 2
lead2 W2S2 n
1.) the lead
the first position in a race or competition
She was in the lead from start to finish.
The Canadians went into the lead after only 30 seconds.
The goal put Holland into the lead .
The Bears took the lead for the first time this season.
2.) [singular]
the amount or distance by which one competitor is ahead of another
The Chicago Bulls had a narrow lead (=were winning by a small number of points) .
lead over
The Socialists now have a commanding lead over their opponents.
3.) [singular]
if someone follows someone else's lead, they do the same as the other person has done
Other countries are likely to follow the U.S.'s lead .
The Government should give industry a lead in tackling racism (=show what other people should do) .
The black population in the 1960s looked to Ali for a lead (=looked to him to show them what they should do) .
4.) take the lead (in doing sth)
to be the first to start doing something or be most active in doing something
The U.S. took the lead in declaring war on terrorism.
a piece of information that may help you to solve a crime or mystery
= ↑clue
The police have checked out dozens of leads, but have yet to find the killer.
the main acting part in a play, film etc, or the main actor
play the lead/the lead role
He will play the lead role in Hamlet.
Powers was cast in the lead role (=he was chosen to play it) .
the male/female lead
They were having trouble casting the female lead.
the film's romantic lead
7.) lead singer/guitarist etc
the main singer, ↑guitarist etc in a group
lead singer/guitarist etc of/with
the lead singer of Nirvana
8.) BrE
a piece of rope, leather, or chain for holding or controlling a dog
= ↑leash on a lead
All dogs must be kept on a lead.
9.) BrE
a wire used to connect a piece of electrical equipment to the power supply
American Equivalent: cord
lead 3
lead3 [led] n
1.) [U]
a soft heavy grey metal that melts easily and is poisonous, used to cover roofs, or in the past, for water pipes. It is a chemical ↑element : symbol Pb
2.) [U and C]
the central part of a pencil that makes the marks when you write
3.) go down like a lead balloon informal
if a suggestion or joke goes down like a lead balloon, people do not like it at all
4.) [U] AmE old-fashioned bullets
They filled him full of lead.
5.) leads [plural]
a) sheets of lead used for covering a roof
b) narrow pieces of lead used for holding small pieces of glass together to form a window

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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