read·​er | \ ˈrē-dər How to pronounce reader (audio) \

Definition of reader

1a : one that reads
b : one appointed to read to others: such as
(1) : lector
(2) : one chosen to read aloud selected material in a Christian Science church or society
c(1) : proofreader
(2) : one who evaluates manuscripts
(3) : one who reads periodical literature to discover items of special interest or value
d : an employee who reads and records the indications of meters
e : a teacher's assistant who reads and marks student papers
2 British : one who reads lectures or expounds subjects to students
3a : a device for projecting a readable image of a transparency
b : an electronic device that scans coded information (as on punch cards or bar codes) for storage or computation
4a : a book for instruction and practice especially in reading
b : anthology
5 readers plural : eyeglasses used for reading or close work : reading glasses Gilda came back with a pair of readers and, looking through her glasses, gave my eyelids serious consideration.— Jeanne Ray

Examples of reader in a Sentence

The book's ending leaves readers to draw their own conclusions. a magazine with three million readers
Recent Examples on the Web And yet, to this reader, at least, Tracy never quite snaps into focus. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 13 June 2022 This reader might of course just as easily be a sad, literary boy, finding his ex refracted back to him in Goethe or Henry James. Sophie Haigney, The New Republic, 23 May 2022 Pamuk’s favorite novel about Istanbul requires some work on the part of the reader, but is a marvelous window into the early years of the Turkish Republic. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Available with or without ads, this e-book reader boasts a 300 ppi glare-free waterproof display that’s easy on the eyes (even in bright sunlight) and the battery can last up to 10 weeks on a single charge. Nicole Charky-chami, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Mar. 2022 This reader recommends perusal with a hot bath and a glass of wine. Amy Merrick, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 The volume comprises what this reader would consider two first-person novellas, presented Janus-faced. Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 This reader was wondering what to do with an old stuffed panda passed down through the family that was much the worse for wear. Washington Post, 12 Mar. 2022 This reader was wondering what to do with an old stuffed panda bear passed down through the family that was much the worse for wear. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 12 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of reader

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

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

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Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reader.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for reader


read·​er | \ ˈrē-dər How to pronounce reader (audio) \

Kids Definition of reader

1 : a person who reads or has the ability to read
2 : a book for learning or practicing reading

More from Merriam-Webster on reader

Nglish: Translation of reader for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reader for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about reader


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