American English

Definition of lead noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    see also lead2
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    first place
  1. 1the lead [singular] the position ahead of everyone else in a race or competition She took the lead in the second lap. He has gone into the lead. The Democrats now appear to be in the lead. to hold/lose the lead The lead car is now three minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
  2. 2[singular] lead (over somebody/something) the amount or distance that someone or something is in front of someone or something else synonym advantage He managed to hold a lead of two seconds over his closest rival. The polls have given the incumbent a five-point lead. a commanding/comfortable lead to increase/widen your lead Miami lost their early two-point lead.
  3. example
  4. 3[singular] an example or action for people to copy If one bank raises interest rates, all the others will follow their lead. If we take the lead in this (= start to act), others may follow. You go first. I'll take my lead from you.
  5. information
  6. 4[countable] a piece of information that may help to find out the truth or facts about a situation, especially a crime synonym clue The police will follow up all possible leads.
  7. actor/musician
  8. 5[countable] the main part in a play, movie, etc.; the person who plays this part Who is playing the lead? the male/female lead a lead role the lead singer in a band
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lead