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

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 A couple of weeks ago, a reader alerted us that Mr. Anderson’s book had gone missing from the website. Roger Kimball, WSJ, "Censorship Competition Heats Up," 14 Apr. 2021 In a recent column, a reader was looking for a vehicle that has a CD player. Motormouth Bob Weber, Star Tribune, "Motormouth: Cleaning the connections revives wiring," 9 Apr. 2021 There’s a downside to all of Bailey’s diligent, dishy accounting of scandals and mapping of Roth’s life to his novels: A reader interested in Roth’s fiction might reasonably wonder what all the fuss is about. Mark Athitakis, USA TODAY, "Engrossing Philip Roth biography dishes on scandals, women, but is light on artist's craft," 5 Apr. 2021 Common writing advice stipulates that fictional worlds must be believable, that actions must have appropriate consequences—because if the rules do not hold, then why should a reader keep going? Harper's BAZAAR, "When the Real World Stopped Making Sense, I Turned to the Fictional World of Mediocre TV," 24 Mar. 2021 The question every reader will have to answer is very simple: Is that desirable? Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘In the Gospels, no one is essential but Jesus’: new translation adds fresh scholarship," 17 Mar. 2021 In a discussion of this topic last week, a reader drew my attention to a speech by Calvin Coolidge. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "Bad words, good words, &c.," 17 Mar. 2021 This is the kind of rabbit hole a reader can go down in the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction, a resource decades in the making that is now available to the public in an accessible form. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Dictionary of Science Fiction Runs From Afrofuturism to Zero-G," 12 Mar. 2021 On a jaunt through the darker corners of the internet, a conspiracy-minded reader might come across a fake news story claiming that 5G cell towers spread Covid-19. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "Can WhatsApp stop spreading misinformation without compromising encryption?," 6 Mar. 2021

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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reader.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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