Definition of lead 1 noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary


lead 1

see also lead2

first place

1 the lead [singular] the position ahead of everyone else in a race or competitionShe took the lead in the second lap.He has gone into the lead.The Democrats now appear to be in the hold/lose the leadThe lead car is now three minutes ahead of the rest of the field.2 [singular] lead (over someone/something) the amount or distance that someone or something is in front of someone or something else synonym advantageHe 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 leadto increase/widen your leadMiami lost their early two-point lead.


3 [singular] an example or action for people to copyIf 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.


4 [countable] a piece of information that may help to find out the truth or facts about a situation, especially a crime synonym clueThe police will follow up all possible leads.


5 [countable] the main part in a play, movie, etc.; the person who plays this partWho is playing the lead?the male/female leada lead rolethe lead singer in a band