lead·​ing | \ˈlē-diŋ \

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

His failures enrage him — particularly his leading man’s decision to leave the film. Keith Phipps, The Verge, "Netflix’s Orson Welles revival is strange, fascinating, and frustrating," 1 Nov. 2018 The most meta program to ever come to Disney Channel has finally cast its leading man. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, ""High School Musical: The Musical" Casts Joshua Bassett in Lead Role," 17 Oct. 2018 Straight from their La La Land collaboration, Chazelle turned once again to Ryan Gosling as his leading man. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "First Man: Here's What We Know About the Neil Armstrong Biopic," 30 Aug. 2018 Kiryu is still perhaps the most likable leading man in video games. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Review: Yakuza Kiwami 2 gets cleaned up for PS4," 28 Aug. 2018 Adlon is an actor, writer and producer currently starring on Better Things on FX IDEAS TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Pamela Adlon, Time, "Tab Hunter Was a Model Of Kindness in Hollywood," 12 July 2018 Still, this new version works, not just well enough but extremely well, and the seven-person cast puts it within the reach of regional companies that find the subject matter attractive and are looking for a big leading role for an older woman. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘Mother of the Maid’ Review: A Simple Woman’s Special Child," 1 Nov. 2018 In addition to Ari, original stars Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel — AKA the high priestesses of Broadway who played the characters until 2004 — will be reprising their leading roles as Glinda and Elphaba, respectively. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Set to Star in NBC's 15th-Anniversary Concert Special of "Wicked"," 27 Sep. 2018 Biel was nominated for the first time for her leading role in The Sinner and her husband couldn't have been prouder to be by her side. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "All of Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake's Adorable PDA Moments From the Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018

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

8 Dec 2018

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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