read·​er | \ˈrē-dər \

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

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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

The first is the reality-show novel, a degraded form of autofiction reduced to narcissistic testimonies that satisfy the voyeurism of readers and fill the pockets of publishers. Constance Grady, Vox, "Elite library sorters race to process books in cutthroat competition," 17 Nov. 2018 Inside the Airport Rankings The Journal has ranked the 20 largest U.S. airports after weighing 14 key factors plus a survey of over 4,800 readers. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "New York’s Three Airports: Bottom of the Heap," 14 Nov. 2018 The Summit kicks off on Friday, November 30, with a day of career immersions to help support all of readers on their professional paths to success. Teen Vogue Staff, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Tickets for the Teen Vogue Summit Los Angeles 2018," 9 Nov. 2018 In the hearts of American readers, Outlander is second only to Harper Lee's beloved To Kill a Mockingbird. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon on Her Two Rules for Writing a Good Sex Scene," 24 Oct. 2018 Business hit from losing Facebook traffic ThinkProgress' article today said that Facebook referrals account for 10 to 15 percent of ThinkProgress readers, so losing 80 percent of that would be a significant hit. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Facebook punishes liberal news site after fact check by right-wing site," 11 Sep. 2018 Hundreds of readers responded to the author with their rave reviews. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "'Fixer Upper' Fans Have a Lot to Say About This Flash Sale on Chip Gaines' Book," 4 Sep. 2018 In Chile two newspaper companies, El Mercurio and Copesa, have more than 90% of readers. The Economist, "Latin America’s new media are growing up," 14 July 2018 But there's also a dedicated cadre of readers for whom summer vacation means a chance to take a really deep dive into a lengthy read. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "3 books for deep summer reading," 6 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of reader

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

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Statistics for reader

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reader

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

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More Definitions for reader



English Language Learners Definition of reader

: a person who reads a book, magazine, newspaper, etc.

: a machine that is used for reading text or information that is stored on film, tape, etc.

: a book that is used to learn how to read or to practice reading in your own language or in a foreign language


read·​er | \ˈrē-dər \

Kids Definition of reader

1 : a person who reads or has the ability to read

2 : a book for learning or practicing reading

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More from Merriam-Webster on reader

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reader

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reader

Spanish Central: Translation of reader

Nglish: Translation of reader for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on reader

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


living or existing for a long time

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