leading

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lead nowhere

To ultimately yield or achieve no useful, beneficial, or successful result or outcome. This meeting is leading nowhere. We've been here for over two hours now and haven't even been able to come up with a name for our product! It appears that talks between Democrats and Republicans on a compromised spending bill have led nowhere.
See also: lead, nowhere

leading edge

1. adjective (hyphenated and used before a noun) Of or being the most advanced position, practice, or technology in a given area, activity, or endeavor. Scientists at the local university are pioneering the nation's most leading-edge cancer research. The company has released some of the most leading-edge smartphones in the world.
2. noun The most advanced position, practice, or technology in a given area, activity, or endeavor. The work their organization is doing at the moment is the leading edge of public health. Anthony's fascination with gadgetry always has him at the leading edge of the latest technology.
See also: edge, leading

on the leading edge

Having or knowledgeable of the most advanced technology in a given area, activity, or endeavor. The local university's laboratory is on the leading edge when it comes to cancer research. Their latest smartphone is truly on the leading edge.
See also: edge, leading, on

lead (one) around by the nose

To exert a high degree of control over someone else. I can't stand the way your mother leads you around by the nose like that and tells you what to do!
See also: around, lead, nose

lead a cat and dog life

Of spouses or romantic partners, to have a life together typified by arguments, fights, and disagreements. They were so happy when they first started dating, but after 10 years together, they've started leading a cat and dog life.
See also: and, cat, dog, lead, life

lead the line

To be the first person in a line of people. All right, kids, who wants to lead the line when we walk to lunch today?
See also: lead, line

lead (one) to the altar

To marry someone. I can't believe it's only a month until I lead her to the altar!
See also: altar, lead

leading light

A person who is well-respected and viewed as important to a group. As a leading light of the human rights organization, he helped improve working conditions for millions of people around the world.
See also: leading, light

a case of the blind leading the blind

A situation in which an incompetent person tries to guide or teach those who are equally incompetent. That project stalled as soon as it became a case of the blind leading the blind—no one knew what they were doing! Don't ask me to tutor someone in algebra because it would be a case of the blind leading the blind.
See also: blind, case, leading, of

on the bleeding edge

Having or knowledgeable of the most advanced technology in a given area, activity, or endeavor. The university's laboratory is on the bleeding edge when it comes to cancer research. Their latest smartphone is truly on the bleeding edge.
See also: bleeding, edge, on

lead the field

1. To be the most successful or talented person in a particular sport, hobby, field of study, business, etc. She's been leading the field with her groundbreaking research into cancer cell structures. He led the field for nearly two decades in the number of home runs hit in a single season.
2. Of an athlete, to be performing at a much higher standard than one's competitor(s), and having the best chance of winning. He has been leading the field since the moment the race began.
See also: field, lead

lead the pack

To be at the forefront of a particular group, either literally or figuratively. We had Bill lead the pack on our tour through Rome. The new video game console led the pack in sales for the fifth straight week.
See also: lead, pack

lead a double life

To keep part of one's life hidden, especially a part that would not be approved of. For years, he led a double life, shacking up with another women while his family remained in the dark about everything. The movie is about a husband and wife who lead a double life as parents and secret agents.
See also: double, lead, life

lead (one) astray

1. To lead one in the wrong direction; to cause one to be lost or in the wrong place. I'm afraid the GPS led us astray. We should have turned right back there. It was only when we saw the waterfall again that we realized our guide had been leading us astray.
2. To misdirect one into error. A few false positives led me astray at first, but I think I have a good idea of the data trends now.
3. To negatively influence one; to influence one to make poor choices. I just hope this new group that my son is hanging out with doesn't lead him astray.
See also: astray, lead

lead the life of Riley

To live a life of great ease, comfort, or luxury. The phrase is likely of early 20th-century Irish-American origin, but to whom Riley refers is uncertain. Pampered from a young age after his father came into sudden wealth, Jonathan led the life of Riley compared to the hardships his older siblings faced.
See also: lead, life, of, riley

the blind leading the blind

A situation in which an incompetent person tries to guide or teach those who are equally incompetent. That project stalled as soon as it became a case of the blind leading the blind—no one knew what they were doing! Don't ask me to tutor someone in algebra because it would be the blind leading the blind.
See also: blind, leading

The blind leading the blind

Prov. Someone who is not capable of dealing with a situation is guiding someone else who is not capable of dealing with it. (See also .) Jill: Mike is helping me fill out my tax forms this year. Jane: Is he a tax expert? Jill: He read a book about income tax once. Jane: Sounds to me like the blind leading the blind. Nathan offered to be my guide through Philadelphia, but since he'd never been there before either, it was a case of the blind leading the blind.
See also: blind, leading

case of the blind leading the blind

Fig. a situation where people who don't know how to do something try to teach other people. Tom doesn't know anything about cars, but he's trying to teach Sally how to change the oil. It's a case of the blind leading the blind. When I tried to show Mary how to use a computer, it was a case of the blind leading the blind.
See also: blind, case, leading, of

lead the life of Riley

 and live the life of Riley
Fig. to live in luxury. (No one knows who Riley alludes to.) If I had a million dollars, I could live the life of Riley. The treasurer took our money to Mexico, where he lived the life of Riley until the police caught him.
See also: lead, life, of, riley

leading question

a question that suggests the kind of answer that the person who asks it wants to hear. The mayor was angered by the reporter's leading questions. "Don't you think that the police are failing to stop crime?" is an example of a leading question.
See also: leading, question

on the bleeding edge

 and on the leading edge
having the most advanced technology; knowing about the most advanced technology. (Alludes to the cutting edge of a sword.) This gadget is brand new. It's really on the bleeding edge. Tom is on the leading edge when it comes to optical storage technology.
See also: bleeding, edge, on

blind leading the blind

Those lacking the skills or knowledge for something are being guided by equally inept individuals. For example, Bill's teaching his son carpentry; that's a case of the blind leading the blind. The expression is found in the New Testament as one of Jesus's teachings (Matthew 15:14; Luke 6:39). [c. 1600]
See also: blind, leading

lead a double life

Live as if one were two persons, usually one good and one bad. For example, They learned that his frequent travels were actually fictitious, and he was leading a double life, with a second home on the other side of town . This phrase is frequently used for a married person who establishes a second household with a lover. [Late 1800s] Also see Jekyll and Hyde.
See also: double, lead, life

leading light

An important or influential individual, as in Jim was a leading light in his community. This expression, alluding to moral guidance, dates from about 1870, but terms such as a shining light have been used for an outstanding person since the first half of the 1500s.
See also: leading, light

leading question

A question worded so as to elicit particular information or a particular answer, as in When are you selling the business? This example assumes that the person is going to sell the business, an action that may not have been established or revealed. This expression originated with a specific meaning in law, that is, "a question that guides a witness toward a desired answer." In court, this practice is called leading a witness and is forbidden. [Mid-1800s]
See also: leading, question

the blind leading the blind

If you describe a situation as the blind leading the blind, you mean the person who is trying to show someone what to do has skills or knowledge that are no better than the person they are helping. If Cedric was going to work with Eric, it would be the blind leading the blind. They don't know anything about human rights. It's like the blind leading the blind. Note: This expression comes from one of the stories told by Jesus in the Bible: `Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' (Matthew 15:14)
See also: blind, leading

lead the field

COMMON
1. If a person, company or organization leads the field in an activity, they are the best or most successful at it. The Americans continue to lead the field when it comes to child actors.
2. If you lead the field in a competition, you are in the best position and are likely to win. US and European cyclists usually lead the field. This could be due to their hi-tech equipment. Torrance led the field after two rounds of the Kronenbourg Open.
See also: field, lead

a leading light

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If someone is a leading light of an organization or group, they are one of the most important, active, and successful people in it. He is a leading light in the campaign to rid football of racism. She had been a leading light in the amateur dramatic society in Kuala Lumpur. Note: A leading light was a light which was placed at the entrance to a harbour or shallow channel of water, as a guide for ships.
See also: leading, light

the blind leading the blind

a situation in which the ignorant or inexperienced are instructed or guided by someone equally ignorant or inexperienced.
This phrase alludes to the proverb when the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch , quoting Matthew 15:14.
See also: blind, leading

the ˌblind leading the ˈblind

(saying) a situation in which people with almost no experience or knowledge give advice or help to others who also have no experience or knowledge: I don’t know why she asked me to show her how the computer works when I’ve hardly used it myself. It would be a case of the blind leading the blind!
See also: blind, leading

lead (somebody) ˈnowhere

have no successful result for somebody: This discussion is leading nowhere.
See also: lead, nowhere

a ˌleading ˈlight (in/of something)

an important and respected member of a group, an organization, a profession, etc: Mr Harris is a leading light in the local business community.
See also: leading, light

a ˌleading ˈquestion

a question that you ask in a particular way in order to get the answer you want: That’s a leading question.Lawyers are experts on leading questions. You have to be very careful when you answer them.
See also: leading, question

on the bleeding edge

phr. having the most advanced technology; knowing about the most advanced technology. (Jocular. More advanced than on the cutting edge.) Tom is on the bleeding edge when it comes to optical storage technology.
See also: bleeding, edge, on