Lead has two different pronunciations and several different meanings, usually related to either the chemical element lead (a heavy metal) or the verb to lead.
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With this pronunciation, "lead" refers to:
- Lead, the chemical element
- Pencil lead, which is actually graphite but appears similar to oxidized lead metal
- Sounding line or lead line ("the lead"), to measure water depth, in navigation
- Tetraethyllead, the "lead" in leaded gasoline
The past tense of the verb to lead is led, pronounced //. It is often misspelled as lead.
- Leading (or ledding) in typography
With this pronunciation, "lead" generally means "first", "ahead", or "guide":
Science and technology
- Lead, the amount of distance aimed in front of a moving target, also known as deflection
- Lead compound, a chemical compound in drug discovery (not necessarily with lead the metal)
- Lead (electronics), a metallic wire for electrical devices and equipment
- Waveforms lead, the same as phase shift
- Lead (engineering)
- Lead (geology), a subsurface feature with the potential to have entrapped oil or gas
- Lead (sea ice), a temporary stretch of open water in pack ice
- Lead-lag compensator, a component in a control system
- Lead (steam engine), a valve timing parameter
- Lead (railroad), a railroad track before or after the classification yard.
- Leading actor/actress
- Lead and follow, the direction or guidance one dance partner communicates to the other
- Lead instrument, such as lead guitar
- Lead sheet
- Lead vocalist
- Leading-tone or leading-note
- Voice leading
Writing, journalism, and publishing
- Lead paragraph, the opening paragraph of an article
- Lead (news) (or lede), the leading news story or leading part of a news story
- News lead, a tip or clue that may lead to the uncovering of newsworthy information
Business and academia
- LEAD Technologies, Inc.
- Pay per lead, a method of marketing
- Sales lead, a potential customer
- Research Lead, a professional job title at a wide range of universities and medical centres for a lead scientist
- Lead (leash)
- Lead (tack)
- Lead (leg), the leg that advances most in a quadruped's cantering or galloping stride
- Lead, the first part of Hangul syllable, the same as syllable onset or "initial"
- Lead off, in baseball, a baserunner's position from the base he occupies
- Lead (band)
- Lead, South Dakota (pronounced [liːd]), a city in the United States
- Honda Lead - scooter
- Lead climbing
- Lead (curling) - curling position
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