The propagation of leaky Lamb waves in a plate consisting of a general balanced symmetric composite material is considered. The problem has been examined both analytically as well as experimentally. An exact solution for the dispersion equation was obtained. Numerical results for complex‐valued wavenumber were obtained for an isotropic material (aluminum) and a (0/903)s graphite/epoxy laminate. Excellent agreement for the isotropic case and a satisfactory agreement for the anisotropic case between the theory and experiment were observed.