Lead meaning

lēd
The definition of a lead is the person in charge or the person or thing in the first place.

An example of lead is an actor with the starring role in a play.

An example of lead is the first float in a parade.

noun
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(baseball) An amount of space that a base runner moves or stands away from one base in the direction of the next while the pitcher prepares to deliver a pitch.
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The distance aimed in front of a moving target.
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The margin by which one holds a position of advantage or superiority.

Held a lead of nine points at the half.

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A channel of open water created by a break in a mass of ice.
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(sports) A blow in boxing that begins a series or exchange of punches.
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To guide the behavior or opinion of; induce.

Led us to believe otherwise.

verb
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To pass or go through; live.

Lead an independent life.

verb
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To guide (a partner) in dancing.
verb
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To afford a passage, course, or route.

A road that leads over the mountains; a door leading to the pantry.

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An example; a precedent.

Followed his sister's lead in running for office.

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(electronics) A conductor by which one circuit element is electrically connected to another.
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(nautical) The direction in which a line runs.
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First or foremost.

The lead leg on a surfboard.

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Most important.

The lead author of a research paper.

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A soft, malleable, ductile, bluish-white, dense metallic element, extracted chiefly from galena and used in containers and pipes for corrosives, solder and type metal, bullets, radiation shielding, paints, glass, storage batteries, and antiknock compounds. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.2; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,749°C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4.
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Bullets from or for firearms; shot.

Pumped the target full of lead.

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A lead weight suspended by a line, used to make soundings.
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(printing) A thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type.
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To cover, line, weight, or fill with lead.
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(printing) To provide space between (lines of type) with leads.
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To secure (window glass) with leads.
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To treat with lead or a lead compound.

Leaded gasoline; leaded paint.

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To guide, or cause to follow one, by physical contact, holding the hand, pulling a rope, etc.

To lead a horse by the bridle.

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To conduct (water, steam, rope, etc.) in a certain direction, channel, or the like.
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To be the head of.
  • To proceed at the front of (a parade, etc.)
  • To act as chief officer of; command the operations of (a military unit)
  • To direct operations of (an expedition, etc.)
  • To direct, conduct, or serve as the leader or conductor of (an orchestra, ballet, etc.)
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To aim a rifle, throw a ball, etc. just ahead of (a moving target or receiver)
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(card games) To begin the play with (a specified card or suit); lay down as the first card or suit of a hand or round.
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To put a leading question to (a witness)
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To show the way by going before or along; act as guide.
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To be led; submit to being led.
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To be or form a way (to, from, under, etc.); tend in a certain direction; go.
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To come, or bring one, as a result.

One thing led to another, a cold can lead to pneumonia.

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To be or go first; act as leader.
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(boxing) To aim a first blow or a blow designed to test an opponent's defense.

To lead with a right jab.

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(card games) To play the first card of a hand or round.
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The part of director or leader; leadership.

To take the lead in a project.

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Example.

Follow my lead.

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Anything that serves as a clue or that leads one to an objective.
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Information that directs a salesperson to a potential customer, a source of new business, etc.
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A long, narrow, navigable passage in an ice pack or ice field.
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(baseball) A position taken by a base runner a short distance from his or her base in the direction of the next.
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(boxing) The act of leading, or the blow used.
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(card games) The act or right of playing first, as in a hand, or the card or suit played.
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(elec.) A wire carrying current between two points in a circuit, between devices, etc.
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(mining) A stratum of ore; lode, ledge, or vein.
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(music) The leading part or main melody in a harmonic composition.
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(naut.) The course of a rope.
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Acting as leader or being the leader.

The lead horse, the lead runner in a race.

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A heavy, soft, malleable, bluish-gray metallic chemical element used in batteries and in numerous alloys and compounds: symbol, Pb; at. no. 82
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Anything made of this metal.
  • A weight for measuring depth of water at sea, in a harbor, etc.: it is attached to a line and tossed over the side of a ship.
  • Any of the strips of lead used to hold the individual panes in ornamental windows.
  • (brit.) Sheets of lead used for covering a roof.
  • (printing) A thin strip of type metal inserted to increase the space between lines of type.
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Bullets.
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A thin stick of graphite, used in pencils.
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Made of or containing lead.
adjective
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To cover, line, weight, or fasten with lead or leads.
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(ceramics) To glaze (pottery) with a glaze made primarily of lead.
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(printing) To increase the space between (lines of type), as by inserting thin strips of type metal.
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A soft, ductile, heavy, bluish-gray metallic element that is extracted chiefly from galena. It is very durable and resistant to corrosion and is a poor conductor of electricity. Lead is used to make radiation shielding and containers for corrosive substances. It was once commonly used in pipes, solder, roofing, paint, and antiknock compounds in gasoline, but its use in these products has been curtailed because of its toxicity. Atomic number 82; atomic weight 207.2; melting point 327.5°C; boiling point 1,744°C; specific gravity 11.35; valence 2, 4.
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A metal pin that extends out from a chip which plugs into a socket or is soldered onto a circuit board. See pin, socket mount, surface mount and lead frame.
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(uncountable) 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).
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(countable) A plummet or mass of lead attached to a line, used in sounding depth at sea or (dated) to estimate velocity in knots.
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A thin strip of type metal, used to separate lines of type in printing.
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(uncountable, typography) 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.

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Sheets or plates of lead used as a covering for roofs.
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(plural leads) A roof covered with lead sheets or terne plates.

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(countable) A thin cylinder of black lead or plumbago (graphite) used in pencils.
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They filled him full of lead.

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

The evidence leads me to believe he is guilty.

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(card games, dominoes) To begin a game, round, or trick, with; as, to lead trumps.

He led the ace of spades.

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(intransitive) 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.
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(intransitive) To be ahead of others, e.g., in a race.
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(intransitive) To have the highest interim score in a game.
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(intransitive) To be more advanced in technology or business than others.
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(intransitive) 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.
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(intransitive) To lead off or out, to go first; to begin.
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The shock led to a change in his behaviour.

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(baseball) To step off base and move towards the next base.

The batter always leads off base.

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(shooting) To aim in front of a moving target, in order that the shot may hit the target as it passes.
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(uncountable) The act of leading or conducting; guidance; direction, course; as, to take the lead; to be under the lead of another.

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(uncountable) 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.
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(countable) A metallic wire for electrical devices and equipments.
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(baseball) When a runner steps away from a base while waiting for the pitch to be thrown.

The runner took his lead from first.

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(uncountable) (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.
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(countable) A channel of open water in an ice field.
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(countable, mining) A lode.
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(nautical) The course of a rope from end to end.
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A rope, leather strap, or similar device with which to lead an animal; a leash.
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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.
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Charging lead.
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(civil engineering) The distance of haul, as from a cutting to an embankment.
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(horology) The action of a tooth, as a tooth of a wheel, in impelling another tooth or a pallet. "” Claudias Saunier.
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Hypothesis that has not been pursued.

The investigation stalled when all leads turned out to be dead ends.

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Information obtained by a detective or police officer that allows him or her to discover further details about a crime or incident.
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(marketing) 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.

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Information obtained by a news reporter about an issue or subject that allows him or her to discover more details.
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(curling) The player who throws the first two rocks for a team.
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(newspapers) 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.)
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An important news story that appears on the front page of a newspaper or at the beginning of a news broadcast.
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(engineering) The axial distance a screw thread travels in one revolution. It is equal to the pitch times the number of starts.
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(music) In a barbershop quartet, the person who sings the melody, usually the second tenor.
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(not comparable) Foremost.

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

adjective
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Lead is defined as a heavy, soft, flexible metal.

An example of lead is the strips used to hold in the panes of a decorative window.

An example of lead is the base of paints used in homes built before 1978.

noun
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Lead means showing someone or something the way or how to do something.

An example of lead is being the first car in a convoy.

An example of lead is a partner guiding another through a dance.

verb
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To show the way to by going in advance.

The host led us to our table.

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To guide or direct in a course.

Lead a horse by the halter.

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To play a principal or guiding role in.

Lead a discussion; led the antiwar movement.

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To begin or open with, as in games.

Led an ace.

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To be first; be ahead.
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To go first as a guide.
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To act as commander, director, or guide.
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To tend toward a certain goal or result.

A remark that led to further discussion; policies that led to disaster.

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To make the initial play, as in a game or contest.
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To begin a presentation or account in a given way.

The announcer led with the day's top stories.

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(baseball) To advance or stand a few paces away from one's base toward the next while the pitcher prepares to deliver a pitch. Used of a base runner.
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(sports) To begin an attack in boxing with a specified hand or punch.

Led with a right to the body.

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Command; leadership.

Took over the lead of the company.

noun
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A leash.
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lead the way
  • To show a course or route by going in advance.
  • To be foremost in an endeavor or trend:
    The firm led the way in the application of new technology.
idiom
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lead up to
  • To result in by a series of steps:
    Events leading up to the coup.
  • To proceed toward (a main topic) with preliminary remarks.
idiom
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(informal) get the lead out
  • To start moving or move more rapidly.
idiom
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lead off
  • to begin; start
idiom
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lead on
  • to conduct further
  • to lure or tempt
  • to mislead regarding one's intentions
idiom
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lead someone a merry chase
  • to cause someone trouble by luring into a vain pursuit
idiom
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lead up to
  • to prepare the way for
  • to approach (a subject) in a subtle or indirect way
idiom
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lead with one's chin
  • to act so imprudently as to invite disaster
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(slang) get the lead out
  • to act with more speed or promptness; hurry up
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Origin of lead

  • Middle English leden from Old English lǣdan leit- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English led from Old English lēad probably of Celtic origin

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English leed, from Old English lÄ“ad (“lead"), from Proto-Germanic *laudÄ… (“lead"), from Proto-Indo-European *lAudh- (“lead"). Cognate with Scots leid, lede (“lead"), North Frisian lud, luad (“lead"), West Frisian lead (“lead"), Dutch lood (“lead"), German Lot (“solder, plummet, sounding line"), Swedish lod (“lead"), Icelandic lóð (“a plumb, weight"), Irish luaidhe (“lead"), Lithuanian liudÄ“ (“plumb, plummet, plumbline").

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English leden, from Old English lÇ£dan (“to lead"), from Proto-Germanic *laidijanÄ… (“to cause one to go, lead"), causative of Proto-Germanic *līþanÄ… (“to go"), from Proto-Indo-European *leit-, *leith- (“to leave, die"). Cognate with West Frisian liede (“to lead"), Dutch leiden (“to lead"), German leiten (“to lead"), Danish lede (“to lead"), Swedish leda (“to lead"). Related to Old English līþan (“to go, travel").

    From Wiktionary

  • Alternative etymology suggests the possibility that Proto-Germanic *laudan may derive from Proto-Celtic *loudhom, from an assumed Proto-Italo-Celtic *ploudhom, from Proto-Indo-European *plou(d)- (“to flow"). If so, then cognate with Latin plumbum (“lead"). More at flow.

    From Wiktionary