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

Definition of reading

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Albert took the Stanford Achievement Test in both reading and arithmetic; the actual tests are still part of the file, featuring his answers written in pencil., 14 May 2022 Architect Paul Lamb worked with a Texas client to create adorable reading (and nap) nooks throughout this Austin home. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 13 May 2022 All the years of therapy and recovery and writing and reading and conversations with friends had changed that. New York Times, 10 May 2022 Hyperlexia is when a person has an understanding of reading and writing that is advanced for their age. ABC News, 6 May 2022 Eastman reading garden for some live music on Saturday afternoon, during the Music at Main event. Annie Nickoloff, cleveland, 5 May 2022 Additional reading: The Los Angeles Department of Building and Services’ grey water systems page, which outlines the city’s requirements for permitted and nonpermitted systems. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 Colleen Hoover, The Bookworm Box combines reading and charitable work by donating 100% (that's right, 100) of its profits to charities. Olivia Muenter, Woman's Day, 3 May 2022 Personalize reading time and put your truck-loving giftee’s name right into the pages of this colorful book written by Maia Haag and illustrated by Jez Tuya. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of reading

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

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

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reading.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reading


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.

Reading biographical name

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

Definition of Reading

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reading

Nglish: Translation of reading for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reading for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about reading


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