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

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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

Ars readers of a certain age may well remember spending Saturday mornings watching a talking giant blue arachnid bring mighty blue justice to evildoers in the animated series, The Tick. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Ars celebrates 25 years of The Tick by picking our top ten favorite episodes," 10 Sep. 2019 Some readers say that is a private situation that does not merit news coverage. Joe Rassel,, "People on the move," 5 Sep. 2019 Throughout, her thoughts are farther left than her actions, which will strike some readers as prudent and others as insincere. The Economist, "Even when they say nothing new, candidates’ books can be revealing," 5 Sep. 2019 Read and Ride Day at Dan Patch Park (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Minnesota’s public libraries celebrate readers of all ages. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Today at the Fair: Wednesday, Aug. 28: Read and Ride Day," 28 Aug. 2019 Stalingrad shows a writer who was a less adamant critic of the Soviet project than a reader of Life and Fate might think. Sophie Pinkham, The New Republic, "Vasily Grossman’s Lost Epic," 27 Aug. 2019 Again and again, a reader of Andrew’s history finds that the countries with the keenest spies, the most thorough decryptions of enemy code, and the best flow of intelligence about their opponents have the most confounding fates. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Are Spies More Trouble Than They’re Worth?," 26 Aug. 2019 As regular readers of this space undoubtedly are aware, the Hotline has taken issue with the Pac-12 football schedule a time or two — or two dozen — in the past. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Pac-12 football previews: Chip Kelly rebuild at UCLA takes hold amid brutal schedule," 23 Aug. 2019 Setting [the new series] at Brakebills gives us the chance to tell all new stories in a familiar setting, with a mixture of existing and new characters, and give readers something that feels very fresh while being unmistakably The Magicians. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lev Grossman's 'The Magicians' Starts Over as New Comic Book Series," 15 Aug. 2019

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

17 Sep 2019

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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 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

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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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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