read

verb
\ ˈrēd \
read\ ˈred \; reading\ ˈrē-​diŋ \

Definition of read

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to receive or take in the sense of (letters, symbols, etc.) especially by sight or touch
(2) : to study the movements of with mental formulation of the communication expressed read lips
(3) : to utter aloud the printed or written words of read them a story
b : to learn from what one has seen or found in writing or printing
c : to deliver aloud by or as if by reading specifically : to utter interpretively
d(1) : to become acquainted with or look over the contents of (something, such as a book)
(2) : to make a study of read law
(3) : to read the works of
e : to check (something, such as copy or proof) for errors
f(1) : to receive and understand (a voice message) by radio
2a : to interpret the meaning or significance of read palms
b : foretell, predict able to read his fortune
3 : to recognize or interpret as if by reading: such as
a : to learn the nature of by observing outward expression or signs reads him like a book
b : to note the action or characteristics of in order to anticipate what will happen a good canoeist reads the rapids a golfer reading a green also : to predict the movement of (a putt) by reading a green
c : to anticipate by observation of an opponent's position or movement read a blitz
4a : to attribute a meaning to (something read) : interpret how do you read this passage
b : to attribute (a meaning) to something read or considered read a nonexistent meaning into her words
5 : to use as a substitute for or in preference to another word or phrase in a particular passage, text, or version read hurry for harry often used to introduce a clarifying substitute for a euphemistic or misleading word or phrase a friendly, read nosy, coworker
6 : indicate the thermometer reads zero
7 : to interpret (a musical work) in performance
8a : to acquire (information) from storage especially : to sense the meaning of (data) in recorded and coded form used of a computer or data processor A compiler is a program that translates instructions written by a human programmer into more specific codes that can be directly read by a computer. — John Markoff
b : to read the coded information on (something, such as a CD) I had a minor problem with the disk drive in that the machine would not read the disk the first time it was powered up each day but had to be turned off and back on again.— Robert Moskowitz

intransitive verb

1a : to perform the act of reading words : read something
b(1) : to learn something by reading
(2) : to pursue a course of study
2a : to yield a particular meaning or impression when read
b : to be readable or read in a particular manner or to a particular degree this book reads smoothly
3 : to consist of specific words, phrases, or other similar elements a passage that reads differently in older versions
read between the lines
: to understand more than is directly stated
read the riot act
1 : to order a mob to disperse
2a : to order or warn to cease something
b : to protest vehemently
c : to reprimand severely

read

adjective
\ ˈred \

Definition of read (Entry 2 of 5)

: instructed by or informed through reading

read

noun
\ ˈrēd \

Definition of read (Entry 3 of 5)

1 chiefly British : a period of reading it was a night … for a read and a long sleep— William Sansom
2 : something (such as a book) that is read a novel that's a good read
3 : the action or an instance of reading

Read

biographical name (1)
\ ˈrēd \

Definition of Read (Entry 4 of 5)

George 1733–1798 American statesman in Revolution

Read

biographical name (2)

Definition of Read (Entry 5 of 5)

Sir Herbert 1893–1968 English writer

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for read

Synonyms: Verb

peruse, pore (over)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of read in a Sentence

Verb

She learned to read at a very early age. I can't read your handwriting. He likes reading the newspaper. She reads a lot of mystery novels. She starts work every day by reading her e-mail. Didn't you read the instructions? Please read from Chapter 5 through Chapter 10. He read the poem aloud. He wrote down the address I gave him and read it back to me. Her mother read to her every night at bedtime.

Noun

He reviewed the book after several reads. She was lying in bed having a peaceful read.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If those aren’t enough reasons to be amped about the year in fashion, well, keep reading. 1. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "11 Reasons to Be Excited About The Year in Fashion," 4 Jan. 2019 The Cougars were pummeled in one of those (keep reading), but got their mulligan 363 days later when a Holiday Bowl pairing with Texas was announced. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Five memorable Washington State football games against Big 12 Conference teams," 25 Dec. 2018 And there are actual symptoms of a sugar allergy or intolerance, so keep reading to learn the signs to watch out for. Korin Miller, SELF, "4 Signs You Might Be Allergic to Sugar," 24 Dec. 2018 Joe spends all night reading blogs where women recount their attempts to date men to deny their true self before accepting that a man could never fulfill their emotional needs. Susanna Fogel, Glamour, "This Is What You’ve Got Mail Would Look Like 20 Years Later," 20 Dec. 2018 Mabel also ate only egg-free, nut-free dog food, which was not always easy to find, and required extra time spent reading labels. Lorraine Allen, Good Housekeeping, "My Child Has a Severe Allergy, But I Secretly Ate Her Forbidden Food Anyway," 20 Dec. 2018 The discovery process in the Six4Three legal lawsuit generated the 250 pages that journalists spent today reading. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Report: Facebook let major tech firms access private messages, friends lists," 18 Dec. 2018 There are a few blackout dates, so be sure to read the fine print on the sale page before booking. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Stay at Any Ace Hotel for 20 Percent Off Right Now," 13 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

All three can be run in RAID 0 with more than 8GBps of read speed, Asus says. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "No, really: Asus' crazy ROG Mothership is like a Surface Pro for gaming," 6 Jan. 2019 The majority of the at-home test kits use quick-read chemical strips to detect major hazards including lead, some chemicals, some pesticides and bacteria. Debbie Carlson, chicagotribune.com, "How to buy an at-home water testing kit," 15 Mar. 2018 This 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps SSD has a maximum sequential read speed of 540MB/s and a maximum write speed of 520 MB/s. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "A 500GB Samsung 850 Evo is $150 today," 21 Aug. 2017 The 2012 iMac has a 128GB SATA SSD—its write speeds are limited by its low capacity, but the read speed is roughly indicative of where SATA SSDs were in 2012. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "Mini-review: How much faster have high-end iMacs gotten in the last 5 years?," 14 June 2017 As mentioned yesterday, The Chicago Tribune catalogued some curious changes with his Facebook results, with a growth in little read postings. vanityfair.com, "Why Are Cable News Stars Still Paid So Much Money?," 20 Apr. 2017 As mentioned yesterday, The Chicago Tribune catalogued some curious changes with his Facebook results, with a growth in little read postings. The Hive, "Why Are Cable News Stars Still Paid So Much Money?," 20 Apr. 2017 Our results are consistent with read number being proportional to fish numbers, but more work is needed on the precise relationship of eDNA and fish abundance. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017 Reader’s Corner airs Fridays at 6 p.m. and repeats Sundays at 11 a.m. on KBSX 91.5 FM. Bob Kustra And The Reader’s Corner Team, idahostatesman, "Reader’s Corner: How Hollywood Communists shaped an iconic film," 23 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After following the KonMari Method and thanking your books for serving you, consider these ways to thoughtfully donate your beloved reads. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "4 Marie Kondo Approved Ways to Get Rid of Your Books," 11 Jan. 2019 My interview with Yale philosopher Erica Benner about what the writings of 16th-century Italian writer Niccolò Machiavelli can teach us about Trump and liberal democracy was fascinating and definitely worth a read. Sean Illing, Vox, "Here are the 5 most interesting conversations I had in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Of course taking advantage of any of these options should include a close read of the program’s specifics, but these represent just some of the debt-consolidation programs available. WSJ, "The Best Ways to Get Out of Debt," 15 Dec. 2018 Google had moved the most frequently accessed data to the outside, so that bits could flow faster under the read-head, but had left the inner half empty; Jeff and Sanjay used the space to store preprocessed data for common search queries. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google’s appearance before Congress will mark a turning point for its CEO," 5 Dec. 2018 And indeed, the 49ers contained Seattle on zone read runs by the running backs — Seattle had just 22 yards on 11 zone read runs from the tailbacks, runs that typically go between the tackles — according to Pro Football Focus. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "The Final Word: Bob Condotta breaks down what went right in the Seahawks’ thumping of the 49ers," 4 Dec. 2018 Hardy's passion - one could even call it an obsession - with this cause makes a compelling read for anyone in need of a smile this Tuesday. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines: Cow suits, a Metro hero and the best turtle sundae in Cincinnati," 10 July 2018 Reading stats Users who like to quantify their reading will appreciate Kobo's reading stats, both for your current read and for your overall reading habits. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kobo Forma review: A formidable opponent for Amazon’s Kindle Oasis," 22 Nov. 2018 During laparoscopy, a number of small (read: one-half-inch or less) cuts are made into the abdomen. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Health & Fitness," 1 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'read.' 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 read

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

Adjective

1586, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for read

Verb

Middle English reden to advise, interpret, read, from Old English rǣdan; akin to Old High German rātan to advise, Sanskrit rādhnoti he achieves, prepares

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about read

Statistics for read

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for read

The first known use of read was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for read

read

verb

English Language Learners Definition of read

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to look at and understand the meaning of letters, words, symbols, etc.

: to read the words of (a book, magazine, etc.)

: to speak aloud the words of (something written)

read

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of read (Entry 2 of 3)

: having knowledge that has been gained from reading books, articles, etc.

read

noun

English Language Learners Definition of read (Entry 3 of 3)

: something (such as a book) that is read

: an act of reading something (such as a book, article, etc.)

: a period of time spent reading

read

verb
\ ˈrēd \
read\ ˈred \; reading\ ˈrē-​diŋ \

Kids Definition of read

1 : to understand language through written symbols for speech sounds
2 : to speak aloud written or printed words I read a poem to the class.
3 : to learn from information provided in writing or printing We bought a newspaper to read about the fire.
4 : to discover something about by looking at certain characteristics or behavior read palms On his face I read boredom.
5 : to show by letters or numbers The thermometer reads zero.
6 : to explain what something is … these tracks were … wolves' tracks. Pa read the tracks for Mary …— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
7 : to interpret stored data (as on a computer drive or optical disk) The DVD player has to read the disk.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on read

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with read

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for read

Spanish Central: Translation of read

Nglish: Translation of read for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of read for Arabic Speakers

Comments on read

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

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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