Definitions

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

  • adj. Having a position in the lead; foremost: the leading candidate.
  • adj. Chief; principal: the leading cause of high inflation. See Synonyms at chief.
  • adj. Of or performing a lead in a theatrical production: a leading role; a leading lady.
  • adj. Formulated so as to elicit a desired response: a leading question.
  • n. A border or rim of lead, as around a windowpane.
  • n. Printing The spacing between lines, usually measured in points.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of lead.
  • adj. Providing guidance or direction.
  • adj. Ranking first.
  • adj. Occurring in advance; preceding.
  • n. An act by which one is led or guided
  • n. Vertical space added between lines; line spacing

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Guiding; directing; controlling; foremost
  • n. The act of guiding, directing, governing, or enticing; guidance.
  • n. Suggestion; hint; example.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Guiding; conducting; preceding; hence, serving as a precedent.
  • Attracting; drawing: as, a leading article among shopkeepers (that is, something offered as a special inducement to customers, for its attractiveness or its cheapness, or both).
  • Chief; principal; capital; most influential: as, a leading motive in action; a leading man in a party.
  • In naval architecture, said of the edge or end of a surface or blade, as a propellerblade, which is in advance when moving through water: opposed to following.
  • n. The act of conducting or guiding; conduct; leadership; command.
  • n. Ability to lead; commanding quality or capacity.
  • n. A directing influence or guidance; especially, a spiritual indication of the proper course of action in any case: a term used by the Friends or Quakers.
  • n. Lead-work; the leads, as of a house; articles of lead collectively.
  • n. Milit., the clogging of the grooves of a rifle by lead from the bullets.

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

  • n. thin strip of metal used to separate lines of type in printing
  • adj. going or proceeding or going in advance; showing the way
  • n. the activity of leading
  • adj. greatest in importance or degree or significance or achievement
  • adj. having the leading position or higher score in a contest
  • adj. indicating the most important performer or role

Etymologies

From Old English lǣdan, probably a causative form of liþan ("travel"). (Wiktionary)
From lead (chemical element). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The leading was more careful of her strength, more respectful of her timidity, -- was more strictly _leading_ than _pushing_, -- that was all.

    Say and Seal, Volume I

  • "But after the decisions made this week, I'm nevertheless confident that the governments will succeed in restoring financial stability," said Trichet in one of the final interviews of his term leading the ECB.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • That's according to Douglas County GOP Chairman Mark Baisley, who defeated a more moderate challenger to win another term leading the local organization he termed "the center of gravity of the Republican Party in Colorado and perhaps the nation."

    Frank McNulty Accused Of 'RINO' Behavior For Supporting A Moderate

  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Kinect Star Wars , and more appeared in name only this morning, the links attached to the name leading to error pages.

    Gizmodo

  • Thank you for so boldly and visibly injecting into our politics the phrase "leading from behind."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • I do agree with that principle, I, however, find the term leading one back to man made creations of god, and I think that we then get on the slippery slope of a god being good, being bad, being like us.

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • Moulton Mix 'at the bottom of the label leading to an air of anticipation.

    The Music Fix

  • Wed Jun 16, 2010 at 10: 05: 38 PM EDT decided not to seek another term leading the county party after eight years, members unanimously backed Liz Muoio of Pennington to replace him as the new party chairman. many candidates dropped out before the vote which saw Acting Chairwoman Alice Furia succeeded by former Maple Shade Councilman Joe Andl. Andl ran against County Freeholder Maryann Reinhart and won by a tally of 171-86.

    Blue Jersey - Front Page

  • His readiness to reach accommodation with the opposition Republicans likely will set a pattern for the final half his term leading into the 2012 presidential election.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • (D-Chicago) for another term leading the Democratic-controlled chamber.

    Pat Dollard | Young Americans

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  • space between lines

    February 6, 2007