Lead is a chemical element in the carbon group with symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft and malleable metal, which is regarded as a heavy metal and poor metal. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed to air. Lead has a shiny chrome-silver luster when it is melted into a liquid.

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  1. A heavy, pliable, inelastic metal element, having a bright, bluish color, but easily tarnished; both malleable and ductile, though with little tenacity. It is easily fusible, forms alloys with other metals, and is an ingredient of solder and type metal. Atomic number 82, symbol Pb (from Latin plumbum).
  2. A plummet or mass of lead attached to a line, used in sounding depth at sea or to estimate velocity in knots.
  3. A thin strip of type metal, used to separate lines of type in printing.
  4. Vertical space in advance of a row or between rows of text. Also known as leading.
    This copy has too much lead; I prefer less space between the lines.
  5. Sheets or plates of lead used as a covering for roofs.
  6. A roof covered with lead sheets or terne plates.
    • I would have the tower two stories, and goodly leads upon the top. —
  7. A thin cylinder of black lead or plumbago (graphite) used in pencils.
  8. Bullets; ammunition.
    They filled him full of lead.

Noun (etymology 2)

  1. The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction, course; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another.
    • At the time I speak of, and having a momentary lead, . . . I am sure I did my country important service. —
  2. Precedence; advance position; also, the measure of precedence; as, the white horse had the lead; a lead of a boat’s length, or of half a second; the state of being ahead in a race; the highest score in a game in an incomplete game.
  3. a metallic wire for electrical devices and equipments
  4. When a runner steps away from a base while waiting for the pitch to be thrown
    The runner took his lead from first.
  5. (cards and dominoes) The act or right of playing first in a game or round; the card suit, or piece, so played; as, your partner has the lead.
  6. A channel of open water in an ice field.
  7. A lode.
  8. The course of a rope from end to end.
  9. A rope, leather strap, or similar device with which to lead an animal; a leash
  10. In a steam engine, The width of port opening which is uncovered by the valve, for the admission or release of steam, at the instant when the piston is at end of its stroke.
  11. charging lead
  12. The distance of haul, as from a cutting to an embankment.
  13. The action of a tooth, as a tooth of a wheel, in impelling another tooth or a pallet. — Claudias Saunier
  14. Hypothesis that has not been pursued
    The investigation stalled when all leads turned out to be dead ends.
  15. Information obtained by a detective or police officer that allows him or her to discover further details about a crime or incident.
  16. Potential opportunity for a sale or transaction, a potential customer.
    Joe is a great addition to our sales team, he has numerous leads in the paper industry.
  17. Information obtained by a news reporter about an issue or subject that allows him or her to discover more details.
  18. The player who throws the first two rocks for a team.
  19. A teaser; a lead in; the start of a newspaper column, telling who, what, when, where, why and how. (Sometimes spelled as lede for this usage to avoid ambiguity.)
  20. An important news story that appears on the front page of a newspaper or at the beginning of a news broadcast
  21. The axial distance a screw thread travels in one revolution. It is equal to the pitch times the number of starts.
  22. In a barbershop quartet, the person who sings the melody, usually the second tenor


  1. To cover, fill, or affect with lead; as, continuous firing leads the grooves of a rifle.
  2. To place leads between the lines of; as, to lead a page; leaded matter.

Verb (etymology 2)

  1. To guide or conduct with the hand, or by means of some physical contact connection; as, a father leads a child; a jockey leads a horse with a halter; a dog leads a blind man.
  2. To guide or conduct in a certain course, or to a certain place or end, by making the way known; to show the way, especially by going with or going in advance of, to lead a pupil; to guide somebody somewhere or to bring somebody somewhere by means of.instructions. Hence, figuratively: To direct; to counsel; to instruct; as, to lead a traveler.
  3. To conduct or direct with authority; to have direction or charge of; as, to lead an army, an exploring party, or a search; to lead a political party; to command, especially a military or business unit.
  4. To go or to be in advance of; to precede; hence, to be foremost or chief among; as, the big sloop led the fleet of yachts; the Guards led the attack; Demosthenes leads the orators of all ages.
  5. To draw or direct by influence, whether good or bad; to prevail on; to induce; to entice; to allure; as, to lead one to espouse a righteous cause.
  6. To guide or conduct oneself in, through, or along (a certain course); hence, to proceed in the way of; to follow the path or course of; to pass; to spend. Also, to cause (one) to proceed or follow in (a certain course).
  7. To begin a game, round, or trick, with; as, to lead trumps.
  8. To guide or conduct, as by accompanying, going before, showing, influencing, directing with authority, etc.; to have precedence or preeminence; to be first or chief; — used in most of the senses of the transitive verb.
  9. To be ahead of others, e.g., in a race.
  10. To have the highest interim score in a game.
  11. To be more advanced in technology or business than others.
  12. To tend or reach in a certain direction, or to a certain place; as, the path leads to the mill; gambling leads to other vices.
  13. To lead off or out, to go first; to begin.
  14. To produce.
  15. To step off base and move towards the next base.
  16. To aim in front of a moving target, in order that the shot may hit the target as it passes.


  1. Foremost.
    The contestants are all tied; no one has the lead position.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: lead
and as such is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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