Meaning of red lead

red' lead'

Pronunciation: (led), [key]
  1. an orange to red, heavy, earthy, water-insoluble, poisonous powder, PbO, obtained by heating litharge in the presence of air: used chiefly as a paint pigment, in the manufacture of glass and glazes, and in storage batteries. Also calledCf.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.