1. To begin (something) with someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lead" and "with." Let's lead with the comedian to lighten up the crowd before we bring on the rest of the acts. You should have led with how much money you expect your project to make—the investors would have been much more receptive from the get-go. They led the news with a story about the president's visit to India.
2. To choose a particular athlete or group of athletes with whom to begin a competition or sporting event. The team is leading with their star batter. In a surprise move, the coach is leading with the youngest members of the team for kickoff.
3. In boxing, to use a particular hand or type of punch when beginning an attack. Your next opponent tends to lead with his left, so you'll want to adapt your stance to be better able to dodge it. He led with a quick jab before connecting a devastating uppercut.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lead someone or something (away) (from someone or something)
to direct or guide someone or something away from someone or something. The officer led the victim's wife away from the accident. The trainer led away the dog from the other animals. We led them away.
lead with someone or something
to start out with someone or something. The coach led with Walter as pitcher and Sam on first base. We will lead with our best players.
lead with something
to tend to strike first with a particular fist—the right, the left, the best, etc. (Boxing.) Watch that guy, Champ, he always leads with his right. Get in there and lead with your left.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
lead/take down the garden path
To mislead or deceive (another).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.