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 leadenness (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

France and the Netherlands have taken back orphans in recent days, because those children are free from the leaden political baggage of having parents who might also want to return alongside them. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "They left Europe to fight with ISIS. Their home countries don’t want them back.," 20 June 2019 Perhaps that accounts for why a work that can be so dazzling onstage is so leaden transferred to the screen. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "With ‘Hamlet,’ to film or not to film hasn’t been much of a question," 27 June 2019 Thunder roars above apes’ wild calls All the time the rain pelted down, harder and harder, while lightning streaked across the leaden sky and crashing thunder almost drowned the wild calling of the apes. National Geographic, "Jane Goodall’s original tale of chimpanzees still astonishes today," 17 Apr. 2019 But finally the plotting is so leaden and the fire fights so pro forma that not even the sight of the three Shafts in action can keep this film from sinking under its own weight. Kenneth Turan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Despite Samuel L. Jackson, this ‘Shaft’ is down for the count," 13 June 2019 In the late 1970s, Yvon Chouinard, the rock-climbing founder of Patagonia, sought a more functional alternative to wool which, although insulating, gets leaden when wet. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "How the Humble Fleece Jacket Became High Fashion," 7 Jan. 2019 But at home, leaden legs turned his gait into a shuffle. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "A Rare Disease Won’t Keep This Mountain Man Off the Trails," 15 Dec. 2018 During the leaden, serious first season of Legends of Tomorrow, there was almost no sign that the show would become not just one of the most reliably funny and escapist hours on television, but also one of the most fearlessly bizarre. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 20 best TV series of 2018," 12 Dec. 2018 The other appearance of eggplant in my childhood was eggplant Parmesan, which tended to be a leaden affair of heavily breaded eggplant layered with copious amounts of mozzarella and overly cooked tomato sauce. Evan Kleiman, latimes.com, "Cucina Italiana: The joy of eggplant. Try making a timbale," 5 July 2018

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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Statistics for leaden

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leaden

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on leaden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leaden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leaden

Spanish Central: Translation of leaden

Nglish: Translation of leaden for Spanish Speakers

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