lead2 S2 W2
the first position in a race or competition:
She was in the lead from start to finish.
The Canadians went into the lead after only 30 seconds.
The goal put Holland into the lead.
The Bears took the lead for the first time this season.
the amount or distance by which one competitor is ahead of another:
The Chicago Bulls had a narrow lead (=were winning by a small number of points).
The Socialists now have a commanding lead over their opponents.
if someone follows someone else's lead, they do the same as the other person has done:
Other countries are likely to follow the U.S.'s lead.
The Government should give industry a lead in tackling racism (=show what other people should do).
The black population in the 1960s looked to Ali for a lead (=looked to him to show them what they should do).
to be the first to start doing something or be most active in doing something:
The U.S. took the lead in declaring war on terrorism.
a piece of information that may help you to solve a crime or mystery [= clue]:
The police have checked out dozens of leads, but have yet to find the killer.
the main acting part in a play, film etc, or the main actor
play the lead/the lead role
He will play the lead role in Hamlet.
Powers was cast in the lead role (=he was chosen to play it).
the male/female lead
They were having trouble casting the female lead.
the film's romantic lead
the main singer, guitarist etc in a group
lead singer/guitarist etc of/with
the lead singer of Nirvana
8 [countable] British EnglishDHP
a piece of rope, leather, or chain for holding or controlling a dog [= leash]
on a lead
All dogs must be kept on a lead.
9 [countable] British EnglishDT
a wire used to connect a piece of electrical equipment to the power supply [= cord American English] ➔ jump leads