Chemistry. a heavy, comparatively soft, malleable, bluish-gray metal, sometimes found in its natural state but usually combined as a sulfide, especially in galena. Symbol: Pb; atomic weight: 207.19; atomic number: 82; specific gravity: 11.34 at 20°C.
something made of this metal or of one of its alloys.
a plummet or mass of lead suspended by a line, as for taking soundings.
bullets collectively; shot.
a small stick of graphite, as used in pencils.
Also, leading. Printing. a thin strip of type metal or brass less than type-high, used for increasing the space between lines of type.
a grooved bar of lead or came in which sections of glass are set, as in stained-glass windows.
leads, British. a roof, especially one that is shallow or flat, covered with lead.
verb (used with object)
to cover, line, weight, treat, or impregnate with lead or one of its compounds.
Printing. to insert leads between the lines of.
to fix (window glass) in position with leads.
made of or containing lead:
a lead pipe; a lead compound.
get the lead out, Slang. to move or work faster; hurry up.
heave the lead, Nautical. to take a sounding with a lead.
go over like a lead balloon, Slang. to fail to arouse interest, enthusiasm, or support.
verb leads, leading, led (lɛd)
to show the way to (an individual or a group) by going with or ahead: lead the party into the garden
to guide or be guided by holding, pulling, etc: he led the horse by its reins
(transitive) to cause to act, feel, think, or behave in a certain way; induce; influence: he led me to believe that he would go
(transitive) to phrase a question to (a witness) that tends to suggest the desired answer
when intr, foll by to. (of a road, route, etc) to serve as the means of reaching a place
(transitive) to go ahead so as to indicate (esp in the phrase lead the way)
to guide, control, or direct: to lead an army
(transitive) to direct the course of or conduct (water, a rope or wire, etc) along or as if along a channel
to initiate the action of (something); have the principal part in (something): to lead a discussion
to go at the head of or have the top position in (something): he leads his class in geography
(intransitive) foll by with. to have as the first or principal item: the newspaper led with the royal birth
to direct and guide (one’s partner) in a dance
(intransitive) foll by to. to tend (to) or result (in): this will only lead to misery
to initiate a round of cards by putting down (the first card) or to have the right to do this: she led a diamond
(transitive) to aim at a point in front of (a moving target) in shooting, etc, in order to allow for the time of flight
(intransitive) (boxing) to make an offensive blow, esp as one’s habitual attacking punch: southpaws lead with their right
lead astray, to mislead so as to cause error or wrongdoing
lead by the nose, See nose (sense 12)
example, precedence, or leadership: the class followed the teacher’s lead
an advance or advantage held over others: the runner had a lead of twenty yards
anything that guides or directs; indication; clue
another name for leash
the act or prerogative of playing the first card in a round of cards or the card so played
the principal role in a play, film, etc, or the person playing such a role
(music) an important entry assigned to one part usually at the beginning of a movement or section
a wire, cable, or other conductor for making an electrical connection
(nautical) the direction in which a rope runs
a deposit of metal or ore; lode
the firing of a gun, missile, etc, ahead of a moving target to correct for the time of flight of the projectile
a heavy toxic bluish-white metallic element that is highly malleable: occurs principally as galena and used in alloys, accumulators, cable sheaths, paints, and as a radiation shield. Symbol: Pb; atomic no: 82; atomic wt: 207.2; valency: 2 or 4; relative density: 11.35; melting pt: 327.502°C; boiling pt: 1750°C related adjectives plumbic plumbeous plumbous
a lead weight suspended on a line used to take soundings of the depth of water
swing the lead, to malinger or make up excuses
lead weights or shot, as used in cartridges, fishing lines, etc
a thin grooved strip of lead for holding small panes of glass or pieces of stained glass
(printing) a thin strip of type metal used for spacing between lines of hot-metal type Compare reglet (sense 2)
(modifier) of, consisting of, relating to, or containing lead
go down like a lead balloon, See balloon (sense 9)
to fill or treat with lead
to surround, cover, or secure with lead or leads
(printing) to space (type) by use of leads
“to guide,” Old English lædan “cause to go with one, lead, guide, conduct, carry; sprout forth; bring forth, pass (one’s life),” causative of liðan “to travel,” from West Germanic *laidjan (cf. Old Saxon lithan, Old Norse liða “to go,” Old High German ga-lidan “to travel,” Gothic ga-leiþan “to go”), from PIE *leit- “to go forth.”
Meaning “to be in first place” is from late 14c. Sense in card playing is from 1670s. Related: Led; leading. Lead-off “commencement, beginning” attested from 1879; lead-in “introduction, opening” is from 1928.
early 15c., “to make of lead,” from lead (n.1). Meaning “to cover with lead” is from mid-15c. Related: Leaded (early 13c.); leading.
heavy metal, Old English lead, from West Germanic *loudhom (cf. Old Frisian lad, Middle Dutch loot, Dutch lood “lead,” German Lot “weight, plummet”). The name and the skill in using the metal seem to have been borrowed from the Celts (cf. Old Irish luaide), probably from PIE root *plou(d)- “to flow.”
Figurative of heaviness since at least early 14c. Black lead was an old name for “graphite,” hence lead pencil (1680s) and the colloquial figurative phrase to have lead in one’s pencil “be possessed of (especially male sexual) vigor,” attested by 1902. Lead balloon “a failure,” American English slang, attested by 1957 (as a type of something heavy that can be kept up only with effort, from 1904). Lead-footed “slow” is from 1896; opposite sense of “fast” emerged 1940s in trucker’s jargon, from notion of a foot heavy on the gas pedal.
c.1300, “action of leading,” from lead (v.1). Meaning “the front or leading place” is from 1560s. Johnson stigmatized it as “a low, despicable word.” Sense in card-playing is from 1742; in theater, from 1831; in journalism, from 1912; in jazz bands, from 1934.
lead 1 (lēd)
lead 2 (lěd)
A soft ductile dense metallic element. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.19; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,749deg;C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4.
A soft, ductile, heavy, bluish-gray metallic element that is extracted chiefly from galena. It is very durable and resistant to corrosion and is a poor conductor of electricity. Lead is used to make radiation shielding and containers for corrosive substances. It was once commonly used in pipes, solder, roofing, paint, and antiknock compounds in gasoline, but its use in these products has been curtailed because of its toxicity. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.2; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,744°C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4. See Periodic Table. See Note at element.
Bullets; gunfire (1809+)
get the lead out, have lead in one’s pants, have lead in one’s pencil
[led] /lɛd/ noun, Nautical. 1. a line by which a lead is lowered into the water to take soundings: in deep-sea practice, divided into levels one fathom apart, variously treated as marks and deeps. /lɛd/ noun 1. (nautical) a length of line for swinging a lead, marked at various points to indicate multiples of fathoms […]
[led] /lɛd/ noun, Chemistry. 1. . /lɛd/ noun 1. a poisonous insoluble oxide of lead existing in red and yellow forms: used in making glass, glazes, and cements, and as a pigment. Formula: PbO Systematic name lead(II) oxide Also called litharge, plumbous oxide
[leed-awf, -of] /ˈlidˌɔf, -ˌɒf/ adjective 1. leading off or beginning: the lead-off item on the agenda.
[leed-awf, -of] /ˈlidˌɔf, -ˌɒf/ noun 1. an act that starts something; start; beginning. 2. Baseball. the player who is first in the batting order or who is first to bat for a team in an inning. [leed-awf, -of] /ˈlidˌɔf, -ˌɒf/ adjective 1. leading off or beginning: the lead-off item on the agenda.