lead

{{11}}lead (n.1) heavy metal, O.E. lead, from W.Gmc. *loudhom (Cf. O.Fris. lad, M.Du. loot, Du. lood "lead," Ger. Lot "weight, plummet"). The name and the skill in using the metal seem to have been borrowed from the Celts (Cf. O.Ir. luaide), probably from PIE root *plou(d)- "to flow." Figurative of heaviness since at least early 14c. Black lead was an old name for "graphite," hence lead pencil (1680s) and the colloquial figurative phrase to have lead in one's pencil "be possessed of (especially male sexual) vigor," attested by 1902. Lead balloon "a failure," Amer.Eng. slang, attested by 1957 (as a type of something heavy that can be kept up only with effort, from 1904). Lead-footed "slow" is from 1896; opposite sense of "fast" emerged 1940s in trucker's jargon, from notion of a foot heavy on the gas pedal.
{{12}}lead (n.2) c.1300, "action of leading," from LEAD (Cf. lead) (v.1). Meaning "the front or leading place" is from 1560s. Johnson stigmatized it as "a low, despicable word." Sense in card-playing is from 1742; in theater, from 1831; in journalism, from 1912; in jazz bands, from 1934.
{{12}}lead (v.1) "to guide," O.E. lædan "cause to go with one, lead, guide, conduct, carry; sprout forth; bring forth, pass (one's life)," causative of liðan "to travel," from W.Gmc. *laidjan (Cf. O.S. lithan, O.N. liða "to go," O.H.G. ga-lidan "to travel," Goth. ga-leiþan "to go"), from PIE *leit- "to go forth." Meaning "to be in first place" is from late 14c. Sense in card playing is from 1670s. Related: Led; LEADING (Cf. leading). Lead-off "commencement, beginning" attested from 1879; lead-in "introduction, opening" is from 1928.
{{13}}lead (v.2) early 15c., "to make of lead," from LEAD (Cf. lead) (n.1). Meaning "to cover with lead" is from mid-15c. Related: Leaded (early 13c.); LEADING (Cf. leading).

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Lead — (pronEng|ˈlɛd) is a main group element with a symbol Pb ( la. plumbum). Lead has the atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal, also considered to be one of the heavy metals. Lead has a bluish white color when freshly cut, but… …   Wikipedia

  • Lead — (l[e^]d), n. [OE. led, leed, lead, AS. le[ a]d; akin to D. lood, MHG. l[=o]t, G. loth plummet, sounding lead, small weight, Sw. & Dan. lod. [root]123.] 1. (Chem.) One of the elements, a heavy, pliable, inelastic metal, having a bright, bluish… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lead — lead1 [lēd] vt. led, leading [ME leden < OE lædan, caus. of lithan, to travel, go, akin to Ger leiten: for IE base see LOAD] 1. a) to show the way to, or direct the course of, by going before or along with; conduct; guide b) to show (the way)… …   English World dictionary

  • lead — Ⅰ. lead [1] ► VERB (past and past part. led) 1) cause (a person or animal) to go with one, especially by drawing them along or by preceding them to a destination. 2) be a route or means of access: the street led into the square. 3) (lead to)… …   English terms dictionary

  • Lead — (l[=e]d), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Led} (l[e^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Leading}.] [OE. leden, AS. l[=ae]dan (akin to OS. l[=e]dian, D. leiden, G. leiten, Icel. le[imac][eth]a, Sw. leda, Dan. lede), properly a causative fr. AS. li[eth]an to go; akin to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lead — Lead, n. 1. The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another. [1913 Webster] At the time I speak of, and having a momentary lead, . . . I am sure I did my country important service.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lead — 〈[ li:d] n. 15; Mus.〉 Führungsstimme in einer Jazzband od. Popgruppe [zu engl. lead „führen“] * * * Lead [li:d ], das; [s], s [engl. lead, zu: to lead = (an)führen]: 1. <o. Pl.> führende ↑ Stimme (3 b) in einer [Jazz]band ( …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lead — (von engl. to lead = „(an)führen“, [liːd]) hat unterschiedliche Bedeutungen: Lead (Titularbistum) Eine Stadt in der Nähe von Rapid City, siehe Lead (South Dakota). Leadklettern; Variante des Sportkletterns Marketing / Vertrieb: Die erfolgreiche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • lead — 1 vt led, lead·ing: to suggest the desired answer to (a witness) by asking leading questions lead 2 n: something serving as a tip, indication, or clue the police have only one lead in the murder investigation Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law.… …   Law dictionary

  • lead — lead, led Lead is the present tense of the verb meaning ‘to go in front’, ‘to take charge of’, etc., and its past form is led. A common mistake is to use lead for the past form and pronounce it led in speech, probably on the false analogy of read …   Modern English usage

  • lead — [n1] first place, supremacy advance, advantage, ahead, bulge, cutting edge*, direction, edge, example, facade, front rank, guidance, head, heavy, leadership, margin, model, over, pilot, point, precedence, primacy, principal, priority, protagonist …   New thesaurus

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