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lead up to - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theylead up to
he/she/itleads up to
present participleleading up to
past tenseled up to
past participleled up to
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  1. 1
    lead up to something if events, problems, actions, etc. lead up to an important event, they happen one after another in a way that makes it possible for the event to happen
    The negotiations leading up to the contract were very tough.
  2. 2
    lead up to something to happen or exist immediately before something
    In the weeks leading up to graduation I did very little.
  3. 3
    lead up to something to gradually direct a conversation toward a particular subject, especially one that is difficult or embarrassing
    I knew he was leading up to something, but I had no idea what.
See also main entry: lead

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