mis·​read | \ ˌmis-ˈrēd How to pronounce misread (audio) \
misread\ ˌmis-​ˈred How to pronounce misread (audio) \; misreading\ ˌmis-​ˈrē-​diŋ How to pronounce misreading (audio) \

Definition of misread

transitive verb

1 : to read incorrectly
2 : to misinterpret in or as if in reading totally misread the lesson of history— Christopher Hollis

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of misread in a Sentence

I guess I misread the instructions. They have misread the lessons of the past. Politicians may have misread the mood of the public. I badly misread the situation.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The incident coincided with a spate of mixed messages from both countries, which former officials said added to the danger that each country could be misreading the other. NBC News, "Escalating tensions put U.S. and Iran on collision course, experts fear," 13 June 2019 In the aftermath of the war, Lundberg argues, Greeley severely misread the mood of the American people and saw a great opportunity to finally bring about his hero’s vision of a truly united nation. John Strausbaugh, National Review, "Horace Greeley’s Ill-Fated Crusades," 19 Dec. 2019 Given the billions its member schools generate through sports, and that NIL payments would presumably come from third parties and not university funds, this would be a bad time to misread the room. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA is giving ground to college athletes, but also making sure it's on its own terms," 30 Oct. 2019 The situation was partially cleared up Monday when officials acknowledged the couple had received incorrect information because someone at the city had misread the map. Erin Hegarty, chicagotribune.com, "Harry’s Cafe is back in compliance with city code; new deal to keep business at Naperville train station to be drafted," 4 Oct. 2019 Someone misread something there, and if that happens against Rutgers or Maryland, frankly, perhaps OSU recovers in real time. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How Ohio State’s defense, staggered at first against Michigan, came together: Buckeye Rewatch," 2 Dec. 2019 At a distance, and at a glance, people will often misread their clothes as frumpy. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Their testimony was pointed. Their clothes were reassuringly dull.," 21 Nov. 2019 The result has been misread in some corners as a repudiation of Mr Trump or as evidence of a turn towards the Democratic Party on the part of Louisiana voters. The Economist, "The Democratic victory in Louisiana is not a repudiation of Donald Trump," 21 Nov. 2019 As a result, the word grané came to be misread as gravy, and this form has been used ever since. 4. Simon Horobin, Quartz, "Five words in the English language people usually use incorrectly," 10 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misread.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of misread

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about misread

Time Traveler for misread

Time Traveler

The first known use of misread was in 1658

See more words from the same year

Statistics for misread

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misread.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misread. Accessed 17 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for misread


How to pronounce misread (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of misread

: to read (something) incorrectly
: to understand (something) incorrectly


mis·​read | \ mis-ˈrēd How to pronounce misread (audio) \
misread\ -​ˈred \; misreading\ -​ˈrēd-​ing \

Kids Definition of misread

1 : to incorrectly pronounce or understand something written
2 : misunderstand He misread the emotion on her face.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on misread

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misread

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with misread

Spanish Central: Translation of misread

Nglish: Translation of misread for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of misread for Arabic Speakers

Comments on misread

What made you want to look up misread? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!