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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Having misread the local start time of 10:15 a.m., the American three-time overall champion was preparing for a 10:30 start. SFChronicle.com, "No. 14 Notre Dame routs Iowa State in Camping World Bowl," 28 Dec. 2019 After a long moment of suspicion (the Pilgrims misread almost everything that Indians did as potential aggression), the two peoples recognized one another, in some uneasy way, and spent the next three days together. Philip Deloria, The New Yorker, "The Invention of Thanksgiving," 18 Nov. 2019 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

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.

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First Known Use of misread

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for misread

Time Traveler

The first known use of misread was in 1658

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Statistics for misread

Last Updated

31 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misread.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misreading?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=misrea03. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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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.

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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

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