Definition of lead noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//liːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//liːd//
    Athletics, Pets
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    first place
  1. 1  the 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. See related entries: Athletics
  2. 2  [singular] lead (over somebody/something) the amount or distance that somebody/something is in front of somebody/something else synonym advantage He managed to hold a lead of two seconds over his closest rival. The polls have given Labour a five-point lead. a commanding/comfortable lead to increase/widen your lead Manchester lost their early two-goal 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. in business
  8. 5[countable] a person or thing that may be useful to you, especially a possible new customer or business opportunity The marketing campaign generated hundreds of new leads.
  9. actor/musician
  10. 6[countable] the main part in a play, film/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
  11. news
  12. 7the most important news story, given first in a newspaper or broadcast The story is the lead in today's ‘Times’. It was the lead story on the TV news.
  13. 8(US English) = lede
  14. for dog
  15. 9(British English) (also leash North American English, British English) [countable] a long piece of leather, chain or rope used for holding and controlling a dog Dogs must be kept on a lead in the park. See related entries: Pets
  16. for electricity
  17. 10[countable] (British English) a long piece of wire, usually covered in plastic, that is used to connect a piece of electrical equipment to a source of electricity see also extension lead, jump lead
  18. Word OriginOld English lǣdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch leiden and German leiten, also to load and lode.Extra examples Did you find any leads when you searched it? Dogs must be kept on a lead in this park. For the time being, China has a solid lead over India. He had opened up a small lead over his opponent. He said that he has a lead as to where Dylan may be. Her big break came when she was chosen to play the lead in a Broadway musical. Houston increased their lead to 13–7 It turned out to be a false lead. Let the dog off the lead. She has a narrow lead over the other runners. She sings lead on four tracks. Sheffield increased their lead just before half time. Some promising leads are already emerging. That game puts her back into the lead. The government should give a lead in tackling racism. The police are following every possible lead. The team has now built up a commanding lead. They have several solid leads in their investigation. They regained the lead with only a few minutes left to play. They took an early lead. This win gives the team a two-point lead over their closest rival. We should follow their lead in banning chemical weapons. We were struggling to stay in the lead. corporations that have chosen to take the lead on the privacy issue leads on the murderer’s identity Both Christine and Fiona want the lead role. Give your dog a period of exercise off the lead. He gradually extended his lead in the second half of the race to win by 49 seconds. I always dreamed of becoming the lead singer in a band. If one bank raises interest rates, others will follow their lead. Intellectuals took the lead in criticism of the government. Sixth- formers are seen to give the lead to younger students. The battery’s flat—have you got any jump leads? The country is yearning for a firm moral lead. The report did not provide a clear lead for the improvement of training. The yacht quickly established a one-mile lead over the nearest rival. They took a 3–0 lead in the first leg of the semi-final. We have to keep him on a tight lead when there are other dogs around. We’ll have to use an extension lead. Who is playing the lead? You go first, I’ll take my lead from you.Idioms
    bury the lede/lead (US English)
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    to give the most important point of a news story near the end instead of at the beginning Unfortunately, he buried the lede in the last paragraph of the story.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: lead