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
(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
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Additionally, a license plate reader picked up Fluker’s car being in the area at the time of the shooting. Carol Robinson |, al, "Testimony: Enraged detective-girlfriend fired 15 shots into her partner’s car, killing woman inside," 25 June 2020 The story below is from reader Jonathan Pick of Woodbridge, Va. USA TODAY, "Why do I love sports? Because this baseball game turned out to be perfect," 25 June 2020 And there are thousands of journalists with followerships that rival the reader-base of a mid-sized newspaper. Samir Patil, Fortune, "How a ‘creator economy’ could help writers and artists triumph over Facebook and Google," 25 June 2020 Bolton puts the reader in the miserable position of siding between himself and Trump, while providing abundant evidence that their mutual recriminations each have their core truth. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, "John Bolton’s Accidentally Unflattering Self-Portrait," 25 June 2020 In Tinker Tailor, le Carré took the reader back to a moment in the past when Smiley attempts to recruit the future head of Russia’s secret service. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "America’s Uniquely Humiliating Moment," 24 June 2020 Outside of the world of music, Scott is an avid reader and an accomplished visual artist, exhibiting his work for the first time earlier this year at the SOCO Gallery in Charlotte. Sid Evans, Southern Living, "Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers on Growing Up in a Small Town and Carolina Barbecue," 23 June 2020 Paperback to the Future From Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-reader, a collection of essays published next month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Brian Merchant, Harpers Magazine, "Archive: 2020," 23 June 2020 The intimate ritual of hand-selling a book to a reader through personalised recommendations and absorbing conversations has been replaced by simple commodity-trade. Priyanka Malhotra, Quartz India, "The story of Delhi’s iconic bookstore that lost its battle against Covid-19," 9 June 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of reader

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reader

Time Traveler for reader

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for reader

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reader.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reader


How to pronounce reader (audio)

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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!