white lead


Definition of white lead 

: any of several white pigments containing lead especially : a heavy poisonous basic carbonate of lead marketed as a powder or as a paste in linseed oil and used especially formerly in paints

Examples of white lead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Woman Walks Ahead takes this one step forward by choosing to elevate Native American voices on par with the white lead. refinery29.com, "Finally, A Western That's Not About A Dude & His Horse," 26 June 2018 The top highest grossing movies of 2017—when they weren't animated—all had white leads. Candace Mcduffie, Marie Claire, "Black People Shouldn't Have to Save Black Films—So Stop Asking Them To," 16 Feb. 2018 Of the many pilots that have made inclusive casting a top priority are CBS' Magnum P.I and Cagney and Lacey reboots, with both seeing non-white leads. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "TV Pilot Season 2018: Which Stars Are Getting All the Offers?," 14 Feb. 2018 Movie studios commonly defend patterns of racial inequality by insisting that famous headliners are the key to success and that movies with white leads fare much better overseas than movies featuring actors of color. Michael P. Jeffries, The Atlantic, "The Remarkable Rise of Tiffany Haddish," 7 Sep. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of white lead

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about white lead

Share white lead

Statistics for white lead

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for white lead

The first known use of white lead was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for white lead

white lead


Medical Definition of white lead 

: any of several white lead-containing pigments especially : a heavy poisonous basic carbonate of lead of variable composition used especially formerly in paints

More from Merriam-Webster on white lead

See words that rhyme with white lead

Comments on white lead

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


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!