lead·​ing | \ ˈlē-diŋ How to pronounce leading (audio) \

Definition of leading

1 : coming or ranking first : foremost
2 : exercising leadership
3 : providing direction or guidance a leading question
4 : given most prominent display the leading story

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Examples of leading in a Sentence

a leading topic of conversation Their family played a leading part in the settlement of the town. the leading role in a major Hollywood movie a leading citizen of the town She's one of the leading authorities on the stock market.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Reeves is set to direct a trilogy of films for Warner Bros. with Pattinson in the leading role, according to Deadline. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "The Crown's Vanessa Kirby Addresses Catwoman Rumors: 'It Would Be a Dream'," 17 July 2019 Styles, who rose to stardom as one-fifth of One Direction, would join in a leading role opposite Bailey, who’s a protege of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as a member of R&B duo Chloe x Halle. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Harry Styles in early talks for Prince Eric role in live-action The Little Mermaid," 16 July 2019 Wisconsin, with its many lakes and forests, has played a leading role in the species' comeback in the lower 48 states, said Sumner Matteson, a DNR avian ecologist for the last 38 years. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Our national symbol is a soaring conservation success story," 3 July 2019 Mahajan is well-cast in the leading role for this kind of doubtful wandering, but can’t hold the film together all by himself. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Trijya - Radius': Film Review | Shanghai 2019," 1 July 2019 Caspi is an active member of the Elder Voice group, which played a leading role in the recent passage of new state laws to protect seniors and vulnerable adults. Christopher Magan, Twin Cities, "Thefts from seniors in assisted living topped $117K, UMN researcher finds," 1 July 2019 The club has held the event for 20 years, featuring a pregame ceremony highlighting efforts to stamp out violence and bullying and honoring those in the community who have taken a leading role. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Larry Baer is ‘truly sorry’ and coming back to the Giants. What’s waiting for him?," 29 June 2019 In 1999, Colin had a leading role on the TV series Roswell and also appeared on the big screen in a number of movies, including King Kong, The Good Guys, and The Great Buck Howard. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Tom Hanks and Wife Rita Wilson's Real-Life Love Story Is Better Than Any Rom-Com," 21 June 2019 Minou’s late mother had taken the leading role in choosing stock for the Jouberts’ bookshop. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "A lush tale of love and hate and religion and politics," 20 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leading.' 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 leading

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for leading

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leading

The first known use of leading was in 1597

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English Language Learners Definition of leading

: having great importance, influence, or success
: most important

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Comments on leading

What made you want to look up leading? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something desired as essential

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