Led or Lead—The Past Tense of Lead?
- Led is the correct way to spell the past tense of lead.
- Lead is a common misspelling of the past tense of the verb lead.
The past tense of the verb lead is led, not lead. One reason for the confusion might be that a similar verb, read, has an infinitive that’s spelled the same as the past tense. But with lead, that’s not how things are.
Definition of Led
Led is the past tense of the verb lead:
By the way, if you see the word led written in uppercase—LED—it’s an acronym that stands for light emitting diode, which is, as its name says, a diode that emits light.
What Does Lead Mean?
Lead is also the name of a certain type of metal. However, when it’s used for the metal, the word lead is pronounced just like led, which can add to the confusion:
The soft core of a pencil is also sometimes referred to as lead, even though it’s made out of graphite and doesn’t usually contain lead: