read·​ing | \ ˈrē-diŋ How to pronounce reading (audio) \

Definition of reading

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the act of reading
2a : material read or for reading
b : extent of material read
3a : a particular version
b : data indicated by an instrument
4a : a particular interpretation of something (such as a law)
b : a particular performance of something (such as a musical work)
5 : an indication of a certain state of affairs a study to get some reading of shoppers' preferences


biographical name
Read·​ing | \ ˈre-diŋ How to pronounce Reading (audio) \

Definition of Reading (Entry 2 of 3)

1st Marquis of 1860-1935 Rufus Daniel Isaacs British statesman; viceroy of India (1921-26)


geographical name
Read·​ing | \ ˈre-diŋ How to pronounce Reading (audio) \

Definition of Reading (Entry 3 of 3)

1 town in eastern Massachusetts north of Boston population 24,747
2 city on the Schuylkill River in southeastern Pennsylvania population 88,082
3 town on the Thames River in southern England that is the capital of Berkshire population 219,000

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Examples of reading in a Sentence


The family attended the reading of her will. The speech ended with a reading from his latest novel. After several readings, I finally understood the meaning of the poem. He needs help in reading. The teacher gave us a list of books for further reading on the subject. He has done a lot of reading on this subject. The reading for today is about human cloning. Moby-Dick is required reading for any scholar of 19th-century American literature. The pastor selected a reading for tonight's service.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many of the newcomers have disjointed or little schooling; their parents, often with limited reading and writing skills themselves and no familiarity with the American education system, are unable to help. Miriam Jordan, New York Times, "Schools Scramble to Handle Thousands of New Migrant Families," 9 July 2019 Among the challenges to making DNA data storage commonplace are the costs and speed of reading and writing DNA, which need to drop even further if the approach is to compete with electronic storage. Sang Yup Lee, Scientific American, "DNA Data Storage Is Closer Than You Think," 1 July 2019 Under his leadership, for example, JCPS has instituted district-wide assessments to monitor student growth in reading and math throughout the year. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Marty Pollio is transforming JCPS with 'energy, enthusiasm and passion,' school board says," 25 June 2019 Because of her love for reading and writing, Krantz remained an enthusiastic supporter of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles (LFLA) and an active member of The Council of the Library Foundation. Lexy Perez, The Hollywood Reporter, "Judith Krantz, Best-Selling Author and Journalist, Dies at 91," 23 June 2019 The education statistics remained relatively the same, based off reading and math proficiency and high school graduation rates. Rachel Berry,, "Study: Life is improving for Ohio children, but not all of them," 19 June 2019 Her support played a role in the school having the most growth in reading and math in the district. J.l. Kirven, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit Lions Academy helps get struggling students back on track," 19 June 2019 In addition to a unique collection of books, the store offers goods, lectures, poetry readings and more. Christian Burno, Dallas News, "New pop-up independent bookstore comes to trendy Fort Worth neighborhood," 17 June 2019 The Emmy Award-winning actress will voice a new installment of the sci-fi story as part of an audio book titled, The Next Chapter on the digital reading and format Serial Box. Rosy Cordero,, "Tatiana Maslany to voice The Next Chapter of Orphan Black set in the future," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reading.' 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 reading


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

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Statistics for reading

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for reading

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

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More Definitions for reading



English Language Learners Definition of reading

: the act of reading something
: the activity of reading a book, magazine, etc.
: a book, article, etc., that is being read or that is intended to be read


read·​ing | \ ˈrē-diŋ\

Kids Definition of reading

1 : the act of reading a poetry reading
2 : something read or available to be read
3 : the number or fact shown on an instrument Take a reading from the thermometer.

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Comments on reading

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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