lead vs. lede

What is the difference between lead and lede?

One of the meanings of the word lead is “the initial part or introductory sentence of a news story.” There is also another spelling of the term that is used to indicate this specific meaning: lede (also pronounced /lid/).
This used to be a more common variant spelling, but in modern English it has been relegated to journalism jargon, and the journalism-based idiom bury the lede, which means to open a news article (or simply an anecdote) with secondary or superfluous information, thus “burying” the central premise (the lead/lede) in a later part. Even in this usage, though, lead has become more common in modern English. However, it’s worth knowing that lede can be used instead in specific situations and is not incorrect. (Just don’t use lede for any other meanings.)
Get all volumes of The Farlex Grammar Book in paperback or eBook.
Share Tweet