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Lead, vb. (impf. and partic. led) 1) to guide or conduct by the hand, to aid and support in going, to make or enable to walk by any means: “led in the hand of her kind aunt,” R3 IV, 1, 2. “l. his apes into hell,” Ado II, 1, 43. “l. apes in hell,” Shr. II, 34 (to guide them by the hand like little children; cf. Ape). “we'll l. you thither,” As IV, 3, 162. “l. him to his tent,” H4A V, 4, 8. “the officers that led me,” H6A I, 4, 44. “thrice I led him off,” H6B V, 3, 9. “l. in your ladies,” H8 I, 4, 103. “l. me in,” III, 2, 451. IV, 2, 5. “I l. my bride along,” Tit. I, 328. “to l. him,” Lr. III, 7, 104. IV, 1, 10. IV, 1, 10 IV, 1, 10 IV, 1, 10 IV, 1, 10 IV, 6, 228. “l. him off,” Oth. II, 3, 254. “l. me from hence,” Ant. II, 5, 109. Ant. II, 5, 109 IV, 4, 35. “I saw her led between her brother and Antony,” III, 3, 12. “--ing him prisoner in a red-rose chain,” Ven. 110. “led with manacles through our streets,” Cor. V, 3, 114. Used of the conduct given to ladies in dancing: “to l. her a coranto,” All's II, 3, 49. “a measure to l. 'em once again,” H8 I, 4, 107. Of animals: “the boy shall l. our horses,” H4A II, 2, 83. “bid Butler l. him forth,” II, 3, 75. “though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold,” Wint. IV, 4, 832. “he will be led by the nose as asses are,” Oth. I, 3, 407. “led or driven,” Caes. IV, 1, 23.
2) to direct, to govern, to rule, to be guide of: “by reprobate desire thus madly led,” Lucr. 300. “the smallest twine may l. me,” Ado IV, 1, 252. “I am not solely led by nice direction of a maiden's eyes,” Merch. II, 1, 13. “blind fortune --ing me,” Merch. II, 1, 13 “led by this priest,” John III, 1, 163. John III, 1, 163 “led by flatterers,” R2 II, 1, 241. “led by the impartial conduct of my soul,” H4B V, 2, 36. “the queen, that led calm Henry,” H6C II, 6, 34. “blind fear that seeing reason --s,” Troil. III, 2, 76. “what error --s must err,” V, 2, 111. “l. their successes as we wish our own,” Cor. I, 6, 7. “that god who --s him,” II, 1, 235. “a brain that --s my use of anger,” III, 2, 30. “if circumstances l. me, I will find where truth is hid,” Hml. II, 2, 157. “likelihood to l. it,” V, 1, 231. “their noses are led by their eyes,” Lr. II, 4, 70. “he --s himself,” Lr. II, 4, 70 “the life that wants the means to l. it,” IV, 4, 20. “fortune l. you well,” V, 3, 41. “'tis not profit that does l. mine honour,” Ant. II, 7, 82. “our leader's led,” III, 7, 70. With on: “my election is led on in the conduct of my will,” Troil. II, 2, 62. Peculiar passage: “your son, that with a fearful soul --s discontented steps in foreign soil,” R3 IV, 4, 312, i. e. whose steps are guided, directed by fear.
3) to command, to conduct as a chief; absol.: “affection is my captain, and he --eth,” Lucr. 271. Trans.: “though the devil l. the measure,” All's II, 1, 57. “led by the Dauphin,” John V, 1, 65. “who --s his power,” H4A IV, 1, 18. H6A IV, 3, 7. R3 V, 3, 219. R3 V, 3, 219 Cor. IV, 6, 75. Cor. IV, 6, 75 Mcb. V, 6, 4. Oth. I, 1, 154. Ant. IV, 14, 139. With off: “l. their charges off,” Caes. IV, 2, 48. With on: “--s ancient lords and reverend bishops on,” H4A III, 2, 104. “led on by bloody youth,” H4B IV, 1, 34. “these three l. on their preparation,” Cor. I, 2, 15. “it sufficeth that Brutus --s me on,” Caes. II, 1, 334. “l. your battle softly on,” V, 1, 16. “led on by Malcolm,” Mcb. V, 2, 1. The destination added: “if they l. to any ill,” Ado II, 1, 159. “--ing the men of Herefordshire to fight,” H4A I, 1, 39. I, 3, 82. III, 2, 104. V, 3, 36. H4B I, 3, 32. H4B I, 3, 32 IV, 3, 72. IV, 4, 3. IV, 5, 211. H5 IV, 1, 152. H6B III, 1, 312. R3 V, 3, 291. Cor. IV, 6, 66. V, 6, 76. Tit. V, 1, 13. Ant. IV, 2, 42.
4) to draw, to bring on a way, to cause to go, to induce, to prevail on: “who l. thee there where thou art forced to break a twofold truth,” Sonn. 41, 11. “l. me in the dark out of my way,” Tp. II, 2, 6. “didst thou not l. him from Perigenia,” Mids. II, 1, 77. “I'll follow you, I'll l. you about a round,” III, 1, 109. “from each other look thou l. them thus,” III, 2, 363. III, 2, 363 III, 2, 363 “led hither by pure love,” All's III, 4, 38. “that same knave that --s him to these places,” III, 5, 86. “didst l. me forth of that sweet way,” R2 III, 2, 204. “let a rebel l. you to your deaths,” H6B IV, 8, 13. “will be led from himself,” Troil. II, 3, 190. “if you should l. her into a fool's paradise,” Rom. II, 4, 175. “into what dangers would you l. me,” Caes. I, 2, 63. “yet something --s me forth,” III, 3, 4. “--s the will to desperate undertakings,” Hml. II, 1, 104. “partly led to diet my revenge,” Oth. II, 1, 303. “to what sport his addiction --s him,” II, 2, 6. “to l. astray:” Mids. III, 2, 358. to l. away == to seduce: “how many gazers mightst thou l. away,” Sonn. 96, 11. to l. on == to allure: “l. him on with a fine-baited delay,” Wiv. II, 1, 98. “you had my prayers to l. them on,” All's II, 4, 17. to l. wrong == to deceive: “how you were wrong led,” Ant. III, 6, 80.
5) to go at the head, to set the example of going; absol.: “l., monster, we'll follow,” Tp. III, 2, 159. “in God's name, l.” H6C III, 1, 99. Rom. V, 3, 168. Caes. III, 1, 120. “to l. first:” Err. V, 422. Cor. I, 1, 164. “l. away,” Wint. V, 3, 155. “l. on,” Cor. I, 1, 249. Oth. I, 1, 181. Trans.: “had you rather l. mine eyes,” Wiv. III, 2, 3. “l. us the way,” Per. V, 3, 84. Oftener only “l. the way:” Tp. II, 2, 177. Tp. II, 2, 177 Wiv. I, 1, 318. Shr. IV. 4, 69. Tw. IV, 3, 34. H6B II, 4, 110. H6C V, 1, 112. Troil. III, 3, 54. H8 V, 5, 73. Metaphorically: “passion assays to l. the way,” Oth. II, 3, 207 (== to take the head).
Not seldom expressing a mere invitation to go along: “l. off this ground,” Tp. II, 1, 323 (== come). “l. away,” Tp. II, 1, 323 “please it your grace l. on?” Ado I, 1, 160. “l. on, o' God's name,” H8 II, 1, 78. “why, then, l. on,” Caes. V, 1, 123. “about my galley I invite you all: will you l., lords?” Ant. II, 6, 83. “l., l.” Cymb. IV, 4, 53.
6) to take with one, to go along with, to conduct, to bring: “the heavens l. forth and bring you back in happiness,” Meas. I, 1, 75. “led by the provost to prison,” I, 2, 117. “art thou led in triumph?” III, 2, 47; cf. Caes. V, 1, 109 and Ant. V, 2, 109. “to l. you to our court,” LLL V, 2, 344. “--s me to your eyes,” Mids. II, 2, 121. “l. him to my bower,” III, 1, 202. Merch. II, 1, 23. As IV, 3, 143. As IV, 3, 143 Shr. II, 109. All's III, 6, 118. Wint. III, 2, 243. V, 3, 152. John V, 4, 7. H4B III, 2, 322. IV, 3, 81. H6A V, 4, 86. H6B II, 4, 30. H8 II, 1, 93. R3 III, 4, 108. IV, 4, 334. Troil. I, 3, 305. Caes. I, 1, 32. I, 3, 112. Mcb. III, 4, 63. Hml. I, 5, 1. Oth. I, 1, 159. Ant. II, 2, 171. III, 11, 51. With on, == a) to conduct away: “I led them on in this distracted fear,” Mids. III, 2, 31. “will l. thee on to gather from thee,” All's IV, 1, 90. “l. me on,” Tw. I, 2, 64. III, 4, 406. b) to bring to a certain point: “the path is smooth that --eth on to danger,” Ven. 788. “never-resting time --s summer on to hideous winter,” Sonn. 5, 5. “which must l. on to some foul issue,” Wint. II, 3, 153. “--s on to fortune,” Caes. IV, 3, 219.
7) to have a direction, to be the way, to conduct: “to shun the heaven that --s men to this hell,” Sonn. 129, 14. “upon the rising of the mountain-foot that --s towards Mantua,” Gent. V, 2, 47. “a little door that from the vineyard to the garden --s,” Meas. IV, 1, 33. All's IV, 5, 57. Oth. III, 3, 407. With an accus.: “the path which shall directly l. thy foot to England's throne,” John III, 4, 129.
8) to bear, to carry: “has led the drum before the English tragedians,” All's IV, 3, 298. “that thou but --est this fashion of thy malice to the last hour of act,” Merch. IV, 1, 18. “if you will l. these graces to the grave,” Tw. I, 5, 260.
9) to be attended with, to cause: “delay --s impotent and snail-paced beggary,” R3 IV, 3, 53. “whether love l. fortune, or else fortune love,” Hml. III, 2, 213.
10) to draw out, to pass, to spend: “she --s an ill life with him,” Wiv. II, 2, 92. Wiv. II, 2, 92 Wiv. II, 2, 92 “and with him l. my life,” Err. III, 2, 67. “where is the life that late I led,” Shr. IV, 1, 143 and H4B V, 3, 146. “ere I l. this life long,” H4A II, 4, 129. H4B II, 4, 310. H6C IV, 6, 42. Cor. V, 3, 96. “that we may l. on our days to age,” Caes. V, 1, 95.
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