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lead2 /li:d/ verb

1 show the way

ADV. back, on ‘Lead on!’ said Arnold.

VERB + LEAD help (to) Five people helping to lead a convoy of aid are feared dead. | allow sb to, let sb Let me lead the way.

PREP. along, down, into, out of, through, to, etc. She led them along a dark corridor to a small room.

PHRASES lead the way You lead the way and we'll follow.

2 go to a place

ADV. directly | back, down, up An old track led back through the wood. | nowhere, somewhere (often figurative) Often there are discoveries which lead nowhere.

PREP. from, onto The gardens lead directly onto a beach. | to a path leading from the village to the old church

3 cause

ADV. normally, usually | inevitably, inexorably Industrialization inevitably led to the expansion of the urban working class. | (almost) certainly, undoubtedly | not necessarily The use of soft drugs does not necessarily lead to a progression to hard drugs. | automatically Business success does not automatically lead to financial success. | naturally Discussion of a client's tax affairs will lead naturally into consideration of investment options. | directly | indirectly | eventually, ultimately

VERB + LEAD can/could (easily/only), may/might (well), must Sugar and fat can more easily lead to obesity than some other foods. The carbon tax might well lead to a doubling of prices for fossil fuels. | appear to, seem to | be expected to, be likely to, tend to Worrying about your weight is more likely to lead to comforting yourself with a piece of chocolate. | be bound to

PREP. to the events that led eventually to war