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English definition of “lead”

lead

verb uk   /liːd/ (led, led   /led/   ) us  

lead verb (CONTROL)

B2 [I or T] to control a group of people, a country, or a situation: I think we've chosen the right person to lead the expedition. I've asked Gemma to lead the discussion. Who will be leading the inquiry into the accident?

lead verb (BE WINNING)

B2 [I or T] (especially in sport or other competitions) to be in front, to be first, or to be winning: After 30 minutes the challengers were leading by two goals. With two laps to go Ngomo led by less than two seconds. The Lions are leading the Hawks 28–9.

lead verb (INFLUENCE)

C2 [T] to cause someone to do something, especially something bad: [+ to infinitive] The brochure led me to believe that the price included home delivery. It's worrying that such a prominent politician is so easily led. He was a weak man, led astray by ambition.

lead verb (SHOW WAY)

B1 [I] to show the way to a group of people, animals, vehicles, etc. by going in front of them: I don't know the way, so you'd better lead. If you lead in the jeep, we'll follow behind on the horses. [T] To lead a group of moving people or vehicles is to walk or drive in front of them: The local youth band will lead the parade this weekend. A large black hearse led the funeral procession. B1 [T usually + adv/prep] to take someone somewhere, by going with them: She led them down the hall. The waiter led us to our table. Our guide led us through the mountains. B1 [T usually + adv/prep] to take hold of a person or animal and take him, her, or it somewhere: She took the child by the hand and led him upstairs to bed. He led the horse out of the stable. lead the way to show the way by going in front: You've been there before - why don't you lead the way? to make more progress than other people in the development of something: The company has been leading the way in network applications for several years.

lead verb (DIRECTION)

B2 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] (especially of roads, paths, doors, signs, information, etc.) to go in a particular direction or have a particular result, or to allow or cause this: There's a track that leads directly to the reservoir. The French windows lead out onto a wide, shady terrace. A narrow trail of blood led directly into the cave. This information led the police to a house near the harbour.

lead verb (LIVE)

lead a busy, normal, quiet, etc. life B2 to live a particular type of life: He was able to lead a normal life, despite the illness. We certainly don't lead a life of luxury but we're not poor either.

lead

noun uk   /liːd/ us  

lead noun (WINNING POSITION)

B2   /liːd/   [S] a winning position during a race or other situation where people are competing: For the first time in the race Harrison is in the lead. With a final burst of speed she went/moved into the lead. After last night's win Johnson has taken (over) the lead in the championship table. By the end of the day's play Davies had a lead of three points.

lead noun (SHOWING WAY)

C2 [C usually singular] the act of showing a person or group of people what to do: We'll go through the dance routine again - follow my lead (= do what I do).

lead noun (INFORMATION)

[C] a piece of information that allows a discovery to be made or a solution to be found: A lead from an informer enabled the police to make several arrests.

lead noun (ACTOR)

the lead C2 [C] the main actor in a film or play

lead noun (FOR ANIMAL)

[C] mainly UK (US usually leash) a piece of rope, chain, etc. tied to an animal, especially to a dog at its collar when taking it for a walk: Please keep your dog on a lead when on the beach.

lead noun (ELECTRICAL)

[C] (UK also flex, US also cord, wire) a wire covered in plastic and used to connect electrical equipment to the electricity supply

lead

adjective [before noun] uk   /liːd/ us  
B1 used to describe the main performer or part in a performance: Who played the lead role in the movie? The lead guitarist was good.
(Definition of lead verb, noun, adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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