lead·​en | \ ˈle-dᵊn How to pronounce leaden (audio) \

Definition of leaden

1a : made of lead
b : of the color of lead : dull gray
2a : oppressively heavy
b : sluggish
c : lacking spirit or animation

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Other Words from leaden

leadenly adverb
leadenness \ ˈle-​dᵊn-​(n)əs How to pronounce leaden (audio) \ noun

Examples of leaden in a Sentence

a leaden performance of a classic American play that nearly put us to sleep the leaden sky made everything seem dark and depressing
Recent Examples on the Web But Luisi’s rather ponderous opening tempo presaged a leaden Allegro that was, at most, moderato. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2021 Only a couple actors dig themselves out from underneath the weight of leaden dialogue, overt exposition and, in some cases, extremely distracting prosthetics. Caroline Framke, Variety, 31 Aug. 2021 All day, the New Orleans heat made her leaden and itchy, but now that the sunlight has drained from the sky and the moisture has been wicked from the air, the actress is ready and alert. E. Alex Jung, Vulture, 7 July 2021 My chest tightened, and my arms and legs again felt leaden. Donald Antrim, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Under leaden skies that threatened rain, Young strolled down Main Street, then climbed a couple of steps onto a hotel porch. BostonGlobe.com, 16 July 2021 The idea of cooking an actual meal was enough to make my limbs go leaden. Kaci Neves, Bon Appétit, 7 June 2021 Every leaden twist gives ample warning of its arrival, neutralizing the last possible source of tension; in this mystery, Occam’s razor might as well be the murder weapon. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 19 May 2021 His character, Martin, has the leaden tread of a man stuck in a midlife crisis. E. Alex Jung, Vulture, 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leaden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of leaden

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for leaden

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The first known use of leaden was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near leaden

leaded lights


leaden flycatcher

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Statistics for leaden

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leaden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leaden. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for leaden



English Language Learners Definition of leaden

: having a dull gray color
: feeling heavy and difficult to move
: not lively or exciting


lead·​en | \ ˈle-dᵊn How to pronounce leaden (audio) \

Kids Definition of leaden

1 : made of lead
2 : feeling heavy and difficult to move leaden feet
3 : of a dull gray color a leaden sky

More from Merriam-Webster on leaden

Nglish: Translation of leaden for Spanish Speakers


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