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

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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Recent Examples on the Web But every time a reader sees a paper with fatal flaws that hasn’t been retracted, that trust erodes a little further. Adam Marcus, Wired, "Science Journals Are Purging Racist, Sexist Work. Finally," 17 Sep. 2020 Cultural evolutionary determinism may turn out to be as disempowering as all the other determinisms; a WEIRD reader may feel trapped inside her own prejudices. Judith Shulevitz, The Atlantic, "Why Is the West So Powerful—And So Peculiar?," 6 Sep. 2020 In the comments, a reader asked a question that provoked a long discussion in the Ars office that morning—what does this mean for electric vehicles? Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Hurricane evacuations and electric cars—here’s what we know," 2 Sep. 2020 Instead, a reader learns that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was deeply attentive to the impact of ambiance and setting. Washington Post, "When soft power means good lighting and the perfect suit," 21 Aug. 2020 A few years ago a reader described a robin that would fly to her jelly feeder and dip earthworms in it. Val Cunningham Contributing Writer, Star Tribune, "Hummingbirds love a good shower," 18 Aug. 2020 Another reader talked about raising two sons, one far more troubled than the other. cleveland, "Do you have faith in Terry Pluto? He has faith in you - Letter from the Editor," 15 Aug. 2020 Another reader suggested John Updike as a writer of belonging. Tim Parks, The New York Review of Books, "The Novels of Tension Between Freedom and Disaster," 10 July 2020 Another reader loved the fact that a midsize ship has a Goldilocks feel, neither too big nor too small. Paul Brady, Travel + Leisure, "Top 5 Midsize-Ship Ocean Cruise Lines," 8 July 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.

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First Known Use of reader

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

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Time Traveler for reader

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reader.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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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

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