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lead1 - definition and synonyms


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noun lead pronunciation in British English /liːd/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [singular] the first position at a particular time during a race or competition

    He regained his lead in the final lap of the race.

    in the lead (=winning):

    The latest polls show the Labour candidate in the lead.

    have/hold the lead (=be winning):

    We had the lead until the beginning of the second half.

    1. a.
      [singular] the distance, amount of time, number of points etc by which someone is winning a race or competition

      a narrow lead

      They’ve increased their lead to three points.

      have a lead of:

      The Spanish rider has a lead of 35 seconds over his nearest rival.

  2. 2
    [countable] the main part for an actor in a play, film, or television programme
    play the lead (in something):

    She’s playing the lead in her school play.

    1. a.
      [countable] the main actor in a play, film, or television programme
      the male/female lead:

      Glenn Close was chosen as the female lead.

    2. b.
      [only before noun] a lead singer, dancer, guitar etc is the main singer, dancer, guitar player etc in a group
  3. 3
    [countable] a piece of information that may help someone to solve a problem or to find out the truth about something, especially a crime
  4. 4
    [countable] an action that is an example for someone to copy
    give a lead:

    The United States was criticized for not having given a lead.

    follow someone’s lead:

    North Korea is to follow China’s lead in attracting foreign capital and expertise.

  5. 5
    [countable] the most important story on the front page of a newspaper, or the first piece of news on a news broadcast

    the lead on all today’s front pages

    a lead story:

    It was the lead story on the evening news.

  6. 6
    [countable] a long narrow piece of leather, chain etc that you fasten to the collar around a dog’s neck in order to control the dog. The usual American word is leash
    on a lead:

    All dogs must be kept on a lead in the park.

  7. 8
    [singular] mainly American the management or leadership of an organization or company

    She took over the lead of the corporation after her father’s death.



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

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the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

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