Leading Someone On Meaning

Definition: To guide someone in the direction of something; to encourage romantic pursuit without the intent of returning romantic feelings.

You are watching: What does it mean to lead someone on

Origin of Lead Someone On

This idiom has 2 definitions, one that is literal and one that is figurative.

The literal definition supplies lead in the sense of showing the way. The figurative definition occurs in the context of romantic or sexual relationships.

The figurative interpretation days all the way back the to 1500s. Originally, it might mean any type of encouraging someone to proceed with deception. Nowadays, it nearly specifically refers to one perboy flirting with another in order to earn that person’s affections, despite the flirting perkid not actually being romantically interested in the other.

People often use this expression towards a womale that is leading a man on, although tright here is nothing in the definition that claims it have to be offered this way.

Examples of Lead Someone On

In this dialogue, a brother and sister are stating some troubles that the woman is having at work.

Maria: There’s been a new development through the brand-new manager. Do you remember that I was complaining around him before?

Franco: What taken place now?

Maria: He is in trouble for sex-related harassment. He claims that his secretary was leading him on by flirting with him. He decided to attempt to kiss her, so she complained to HR.

Franco: Will he acquire in trouble?

Maria: Maybe. Tbelow is no proof that his secretary was leading him on, yet there is proof that he was sexually harassing her.

The second instance shows two university students who pointing out their romantic stays.

Lorenzo: I’m not sure if I have to ask Clara out on a date.

Alba: Do you mean the other woman in our class? Sure! Why not?

Lorenzo: Sometimes I think she likes me. Other times I think she’s just being friendly. And sometimes I also think that she is leading me on. Sometimes she is obviously flirting through me and also various other times she ignores me.

Alba: Maybe you need to simply ask her how she feels.

More Examples

The excerpt below is from a story about a relationship.

This excerpt is from an post about rape on college campprovides.

See more: "The Minister'S Black Veil," Why Does The Minister Wear The Black Veil ?


The expression to lead someone on suggests to suggest that you want a romantic connection that you don’t really intend to engage in.


Search for:

Confusing Words

Writing Topics

Recent Posts

Home | About | Resources | Scholarships | Advertise | Privacy | Contact
Format GuidesDictionary