Synonyms of lead in English:


Pronunciation: rhymes with ‘feed’


  • 1 Michelle let them lead her into the porch
    guide, conduct, show, show someone the way, lead the way, usher, escort, steer, pilot, marshal, shepherd; accompany, see, take, help, assist
    [Antonyms] follow
  • 2 we are led to believe that lack of finance is to blame
    cause, induce, prompt, move, persuade, sway, influence, prevail on, bring round, make willing, motivate, drive, condition, determine, make, impel, give, force; incline, dispose, predispose, bias
  • 3 they feared that the Marshall Plan would lead to Germany's industrial revival
    result in, cause, bring on, bring about, call forth, give rise to, be the cause of, make happen, create, produce, occasion, effect, engender, generate, contribute to, be conducive to, add to, be instrumental in, have a hand in, have a part in, help, promote, advance; precipitate, hasten, accelerate, quicken, push forward, prompt, expedite, further, speed up; provoke, stir up, spark off, trigger (off), set off, touch off, arouse, rouse, excite, foment, instigate; cost, involve, necessitate, invite, risk, elicit, entail
  • 4 he intended to lead a march to the city centre
    be at the head of, be at the front of, head, spearhead
    [Antonyms] follow
  • 5 the Prime Minister led a coalition of republican radicals
    be the leader of, be the head of, preside over, hold sway over, head; command, direct, govern, rule, be in charge of, be in command of, be in control of, have control of, have charge of, regulate, supervise, superintend, oversee, chair, run, mastermind, orchestrate, control, conduct, guide, be at the helm of, take the chair of; administer, organize, manage; dominate, master, reign over, domineer, be in power over
    [Antonyms] serve in
  • 6 he fired in breaks of 52 and 65 to lead 8–54
    be ahead, be winning, be in front, be out in front, be in the lead, be first, come first
    [Antonyms] be losing lose
  • 7 the champion steeplechaser was leading the field as usual
    be at the front of, be first in, be ahead of, head; outdistance, outrun, outstrip, outpace, leave behind, get (further) ahead of, draw away from, shake off; outdo, excel, exceed, surpass, outclass, transcend, top, trump, cap, beat, better; widen the gap
    informal leave standing, walk away from, run rings around
    archaic outrival, outvie
    [Antonyms] follow trail
  • 8 right now, all I want is to lead a normal life
  • 9 a path through the park leads to the beach
    open on to, give on to, connect with/to, provide a route to, communicate with
  • Phrases

    lead something off

    they watched his dramatic announcement lead off the Nine O'Clock News
    [Antonyms] end conclude
    beginstartstart offopenget going informalkick off formalcommence

    lead someone on

    he knew she was leading him ondeceivemisleaddeludehoodwinkdupetricktake infoolpull the wool over someone's eyesgullensnareentrapenticeallurelurebeguileinveigletempttantalizeteaseflirt withseduce informalstring alonglead up the garden pathtake for a rideput one over on

    lead the way

  • 1 he led the way to the kitchen
    guide, conduct, show the way
  • 2 Britain has often led the way in aerospace technology
    take the first step, initiate things, break (new) ground, blaze a trail, lay the foundation, lay the first stone, set in motion, prepare the way, set the ball rolling, take the initiative, make the first move, make a start; develop, introduce, start, begin, launch, instigate, institute, originate
    [Antonyms] follow
  • lead up to

    she wondered if he was leading up to suggesting that they go togetherprepare the way forpave the way foropen the way forlay the groundwork forset the scene forwork round/up tomake overtures aboutmake advances abouthint atapproach the subject ofintroduce the subject ofsuggesthintimply


    Back to top  
  • 1 I found myself in the lead early in the back straight
    leading position, leading place, first place, advance position, van, vanguard; ahead, in front, winning, leading the field, to the fore
    informal up front
    [Antonyms] last losing
  • 2 they took the lead in the personal computer market
    first position, head place, forefront, primacy, dominance, superiority, precedence, ascendancy; pre-eminence, supremacy, advantage, edge, upper hand, whip hand; head start
    [Antonyms] last position
  • 3 Newcastle built up a 3-0 half-time lead
    winning margin, margin, gap, interval
  • 4 sixth-formers are supposed to give a lead to younger pupils
    example, model, pattern, exemplar, paradigm, standard of excellence; role model
  • 5 she is going to be playing the lead in Glen's movie
    leading role, star/starring role, star part, title role, principal part; star, principal character, male lead, female lead, leading man, leading lady, hero, heroine, protagonist
    [Antonyms] bit part extra
  • 6 a Labrador on a lead
    leash, tether, rein, cord, rope, chain, line
  • 7 detectives were following up a new lead in their hunt for the killers
    clue, pointer, guide, hint, tip, tip-off, suggestion, indication, indicator, sign, signal, intimation, inkling; (leads)evidence, information
  • adjective

    Back to top  
  • we lost the lead position due to a combination of circumstances
    [Antonyms] last
  • Definition of lead in:

    Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

    Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

    Word of the day impudicity
    Pronunciation: ˌɪmpjʊˈdɪsɪti
    lack of modesty

    Synonyms of lead in English:


    Pronunciation: rhymes with ‘bed’


  • he was removing the lead from the man's chest
  • Word links

    plumbic, plumbous relating to lead
    plumb- related prefix, as in plumbate

    Definition of lead in: