• WordNet 3.6
    • adj leaden darkened with overcast "a dark day","a dull sky","the sky was leaden and thick"
    • adj leaden lacking lightness or liveliness "heavy humor","a leaden conversation"
    • adj leaden (of movement) slow and laborious "leaden steps"
    • adj leaden made heavy or weighted down with weariness "his leaden arms","weighted eyelids"
    • adj leaden made of lead "a leaden weight"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Leaden Heavy; dull; sluggish. "Leaden slumber.""The larger stream was placid, and even sullen , in its course.""No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows;
      The dreaded east is all the wind that blows."
    • Leaden Like lead in color, etc.; as, a leaden sky.
    • Leaden Made of lead; of the nature of lead; as, a leaden ball.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • leaden Made or consisting of lead: as, a leaden ball; a leaden coffin.
    • leaden Like lead in any particular. Inertly heavy: as, the leaden weight of a helpless person.
    • leaden Of the color of lead; dull-colored; hence, gloomy: as, a leaden sky.
    • leaden [Leaden is often compounded with participial adjectives: as, leaden- winged time; a leaden -paced messenger.
    • leaden Synonyms Lead, Leaden. Lead as an adjective is not used figuratively: leaden is used both literally and figuratively: as, a lead or leaden image; a leaden sky. A similar distinction exists between wood and wooden, gold and golden, etc.: as, a wood partition; wooden walls; wooden immobility; a gold watch; golden clouds, or hopes, or prospects. The form in -en is generally preferable rhythmically; hence its retention and extension in poetic use.
    • leaden To fasten or cover with lead.
    • leaden To weigh down with or as with lead, as one's spirits.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Leaden made of lead: heavy: dull
    • ***


  • Hilaire Belloc
    “I shoot the Hippopotamus with bullets made of platinum, because if I use the leaden one his hide is sure to flatten em.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. leád; Ger. loth.


In literature:

If your ancestor was buried in a leaden coffin, there will be no difficulty in finding which it is.
"Varney the Vampire" by Thomas Preskett Prest
There is a leaden glare peculiar to clouds, which makes the snow and ice more lurid.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece" by John Addington Symonds
The light was coming up slowly over the leaden sea, and the waves seemed cowed by the steady flogging of the sleet.
"The Romance of the Coast" by James Runciman
She raised her head, gazing at the black, leaden patch of sky that was to be seen through the muddle of roofs and walls.
"Sally Bishop" by E. Temple Thurston
Why separate, do they Turn back, while others sweep the leaden tide?
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil
The leaden clouds, seeing it on the point of death, assailed it with treacherous greed.
"Woman Triumphant" by Vicente Blasco Ibañez
There is a leaden glare peculiar to clouds, which makes the snow and ice more lurid.
"Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete" by John Symonds
The morning was dark and overcast, the leaden sky threatened snow, and the wailing December wind was desolation itself.
"Kate Danton, or, Captain Danton's Daughters" by May Agnes Fleming
The evening was chill and gray, and a heavy leaden twilight was settling over the city.
"The Child of Pleasure" by Gabriele D'Annunzio
The leaden tea-cups and goblets.
"The Magic City" by Edith Nesbit
No sooner had I arrived at the camp than the sky which was leaden and low began to drop its burden upon us.
"A Canyon Voyage" by Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
Presently it burst forth, with rifle flashes for lightning, and a deadly leaden hail.
"For Fortune and Glory" by Lewis Hough
In this the mantle has suffered severely and the leaden core to a less extent.
"Surgical Experiences in South Africa, 1899-1900" by George Henry Makins
At length daylight came, and a dark cloudy sky hung over a dull leaden sea.
"Hurricane Hurry" by W.H.G. Kingston
It was not only heavy thoughts about Modestine that weighted me upon the way; it was a leaden business altogether.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition" by Robert Louis Stevenson
At dawn the sky was leaden and the cold less despotic.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
As he passed the men on foot a sudden swirl of snow came in larger flakes from the leaden skies.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
Leaden clouds over day-dark pavements.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
The exterior had been painted leaden-grey, and a shed transformed into a small, serviceable stable.
"Mountain Blood" by Joseph Hergesheimer
He started off with shovel and pick and the eternal washing-pan under a leaden sky.
"Colorado Jim" by George Goodchild

In poetry:

And though some roving cloud may stain
with glancing drops those leaden leaves,
the dripping of a poisoned rain
is all the burning sand receives.
"The Upas Tree" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
But they took him, the King’s son Hafbur,
And set him in bolts new wrought;
Then lightly he rent them asunder,
As though they were leaden and nought.
"Hafbur And Signy" by William Morris
I sit beneath a leaden sky,
Amid the piled and drifted snow;
My feet are on the graves where lie
The roses which made haste to die
So long, so very long ago.
"Solstice II" by Susan Coolidge
The leafless branch and meadow sere,
The dull and leaden skies,
Join with the mournful wind and drear
In dirges for the passing year,
Which unreturning flies.
"The First Storm." by Alfred Castner King
If thou wert May, then May is cold,
And, oh! how changed from what she has been—
Then barren boughs are bright with green,
And leaden skies are glad with gold.
"To June. Written After An Ungenial May" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
All other sinners strive their faults to hide,
Besides the leaden-headed sot alone:
But he must foolishly display full wide
Each odious sin and crime that he has done.
"Advice To The Drunkard" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Knowing more, the Alchemists of this anger and fear, transmuting leaden nonsense into political gold, know better.
Good thing that I'm off the payroll because I wouldn't know how to explain the leaden weight of words coming to me so slowly.
Robert Pattinson must be hellbent on escaping the world of sparkly-skinned undead to take on the starring role in the leaden, obtuse and ultra-pretentious Cosmopolis (*1/2 out of four.
Leaden and cliché-riddled, The Oranges is, for starters, not about the four neighboring townships in New Jersey.
NEW YORK (AP) — US stock futures are heading lower with economists growing increasingly pessimistic about Asia as well as expectations for a leaden performance from major US corporations as the earnings season kicks off this week.
NEW YORK (AP) — US stock futures dipped Monday as economists grow increasingly pessimistic about the outlook for Asia, as well as expectations for a leaden performance from major US corporations as the earnings season kicks off.
US stock futures dipped Monday as economists grow increasingly pessimistic about the outlook for Asia, as well as expectations for a leaden performance from major US corporations as the earnings season kicks off.
At its worst, the rice flavor is lost to cloying sweetness, condensed dairy, and a pasty, leaden consistency.
Often, light-sounding chicken salad is a leaden disappointment: too much mayo and not enough crunch.
The leaden tornado that tore through the supermarket industry last week has moved on to collectible glassware.
It's not only Americans who can make leaden, video game-style exercises in dumb war action.
Temperatures were in the 40s, and the leaden sky threatened rain.
No leaden menu card with mundane choices for Brian and me.