Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that leads or guides.
  • n. One who is in charge or in command of others.
  • n. One who heads a political party or organization.
  • n. One who has influence or power, especially of a political nature.
  • n. Music A conductor, especially of orchestra, band, or choral group.
  • n. Music The principal performer in an orchestral section or a group.
  • n. The foremost animal, such as a horse or dog, in a harnessed team.
  • n. A loss leader.
  • n. Chiefly British The main editorial in a newspaper.
  • n. Printing Dots or dashes in a row leading the eye across a page, as in an index entry.
  • n. A pipe for conducting liquid.
  • n. A short length of gut, wire, or similar material by which a hook is attached to a fishing line.
  • n. A blank strip at the end or beginning of a film or tape used in threading or winding.
  • n. Botany The growing apex or main shoot of a shrub or tree.
  • n. An economic indicator.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any person or thing that leads or conducts.
  • n. One who goes first.
  • n. One having authority to direct.
  • n. One who leads a political party or group of elected party members; sometimes used in titles.
  • n. A person or thing that leads in a certain field in terms of excellence, success, etc.
  • n. A performer who leads a band, choir, or a section of an orchestra.
  • n. The first violin in a symphony orchestra; the concertmaster.
  • n. The dominant animal in a pack of animals, such as wolves or lions.
  • n. An animal placed in advance of others, especially on a team of horse, oxen, or dogs.
  • n. A fast-growing terminal shoot of a woody plant.
  • n. A pipe for conducting rain water from a roof to a cistern or to the ground.
  • n. The first, or the principal, editorial article in a newspaper; a leading or main editorial article; a lead story.
  • n. A section of line between the main fishing line and the snell of a hook, intended to be more resistant to bites and harder for a fish to detect than the main fishing line.
  • n. A piece of material at the beginning or end of a reel or roll to allow the material to the threaded or fed onto something, as a reel of film onto a projector or a roll of paper onto a rotary printing press.
  • n. A loss leader or a popular product sold at a normal price.
  • n. A type having a dot or short row of dots upon its face.
  • n. A row of dots, periods, or hyphens, used in tables of contents, etc., to lead the eye across a space to the right word or number.
  • n. A net for leading fish into a pound, weir, etc.
  • n. A branch or small vein, not important in itself, but indicating the proximity of a better one.
  • n. A block of hard wood pierced with suitable holes for leading ropes in their proper places.
  • n. The drive wheel in any kind of machinery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who, or that which, leads or conducts; a guide; a conductor.
  • n. One who goes first.
  • n. One having authority to direct; a chief; a commander.
  • n. A performer who leads a band or choir in music; also, in an orchestra, the principal violinist; the one who plays at the head of the first violins.
  • n. A block of hard wood pierced with suitable holes for leading ropes in their proper places.
  • n. The principal wheel in any kind of machinery.
  • n. A horse placed in advance of others; one of the forward pair of horses.
  • n. A pipe for conducting rain water from a roof to a cistern or to the ground; a conductor.
  • n. A net for leading fish into a pound, weir, etc.; also, a line of gut, to which the snell of a fly hook is attached.
  • n. A branch or small vein, not important in itself, but indicating the proximity of a better one.
  • n. The first, or the principal, editorial article in a newspaper; a leading or main editorial article.
  • n.
  • n. A type having a dot or short row of dots upon its face.
  • n. a row of dots, periods, or hyphens, used in tables of contents, etc., to lead the eye across a space to the right word or number.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who leads, guides, conducts, directs, or controls; a director or conductor; a chief or commander.
  • n. One who is first or most prominent in any relation; one who takes precedence by virtue of superior qualification or influence; a recognized principal or superior: as, leaders of society; a leader of the bar.
  • n. In the Meth. Epis. Ch., one who has charge of a “class,” which he meets at stated times, and over which he exercises a quasi-pastoral supervision. See class, n., 3 .
  • n. In music:
  • n. A conductor or director.
  • n. The principal first-violin player in an orchestra (concert-master), the principal cornettist in a band, or the principal soprano in a chorus.
  • n. That which leads or conducts; something that guides the course of a thing, or conducts to it.
  • n. In surveying, the foremost of the two chain-carriers.
  • n. A ring or gripper used for leading cattle, passed through the septum of the nose.
  • n. That which precedes; something that has a leading or foremost place, whether in actual position or in importance.
  • n. The principal wheel in a set of machinery.
  • n. A principal editorial article in a newspaper; one of the longer articles in a newspaper appearing as its own utterances or expressions of editorial views, whether written by the ostensible editor or by leader-writers or contributors.
  • n. A sinew; a tendon: as, the leaders of the fingers or toes.
  • n. Something offered as a special attraction to customers; a leading “bargain.”
  • n. In botany, the terminal shoot of an excurrent trunk, commonly forming the apex of a cone-shaped tree, as in the fir and the larch.
  • n. = Syn. 1 and 2. Commander, Head, etc. See chief.
  • n. A plumber.
  • n.
  • n. The first player on any trick in a game of cards; the player who sits on the dealer's left.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who rules or guides or inspires others
  • n. a featured article of merchandise sold at a loss in order to draw customers

Etymologies

From Middle English leder, ledere, from Old English lǣdere ("leader"), equivalent to lead +‎ -er. Cognate with Scots ledar, leidar ("leader"), West Frisian lieder ("leader"), Dutch leider ("leader"), German Leiter ("leader, conductor, manager"), Danish leder ("leader, manager"), Swedish ledare ("leader, conductor, director"), Icelandic leiðari ("leader, conductor"). (Wiktionary)

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