read

verb
\ ˈrēd How to pronounce read (audio) \
read\ ˈred How to pronounce read (audio) \; reading\ ˈrē-​diŋ How to pronounce reading (audio) \

Definition of read

 (Entry 1 of 5)

transitive verb

1a(1) : to receive or take in the sense of (letters, symbols, etc.) especially by sight or touch
(2) : to study the movements of with mental formulation of the communication expressed read lips
(3) : to utter aloud the printed or written words of read them a story
b : to learn from what one has seen or found in writing or printing
c : to deliver aloud by or as if by reading specifically : to utter interpretively
d(1) : to become acquainted with or look over the contents of (something, such as a book)
(2) : to make a study of read law
(3) : to read the works of
e : to check (something, such as copy or proof) for errors
f(1) : to receive and understand (a voice message) by radio
2a : to interpret the meaning or significance of read palms
b : foretell, predict able to read his fortune
3 : to recognize or interpret as if by reading: such as
a : to learn the nature of by observing outward expression or signs reads him like a book
b : to note the action or characteristics of in order to anticipate what will happen a good canoeist reads the rapids a golfer reading a green also : to predict the movement of (a putt) by reading a green
c : to anticipate by observation of an opponent's position or movement read a blitz
4a : to attribute a meaning to (something read) : interpret how do you read this passage
b : to attribute (a meaning) to something read or considered read a nonexistent meaning into her words
5 : to use as a substitute for or in preference to another word or phrase in a particular passage, text, or version read hurry for harry often used to introduce a clarifying substitute for a euphemistic or misleading word or phrase a friendly, read nosy, coworker
6 : indicate the thermometer reads zero
7 : to interpret (a musical work) in performance
8a : to acquire (information) from storage especially : to sense the meaning of (data) in recorded and coded form used of a computer or data processor A compiler is a program that translates instructions written by a human programmer into more specific codes that can be directly read by a computer. — John Markoff
b : to read the coded information on (something, such as a CD) I had a minor problem with the disk drive in that the machine would not read the disk the first time it was powered up each day but had to be turned off and back on again.— Robert Moskowitz

intransitive verb

1a : to perform the act of reading words : read something
b(1) : to learn something by reading
(2) : to pursue a course of study
2a : to yield a particular meaning or impression when read
b : to be readable or read in a particular manner or to a particular degree this book reads smoothly
3 : to consist of specific words, phrases, or other similar elements a passage that reads differently in older versions
read between the lines
: to understand more than is directly stated
read the riot act
1 : to order a mob to disperse
2a : to order or warn to cease something
b : to protest vehemently
c : to reprimand severely

read

adjective
\ ˈred How to pronounce read (audio) \

Definition of read (Entry 2 of 5)

: instructed by or informed through reading

read

noun
\ ˈrēd How to pronounce read (audio) \

Definition of read (Entry 3 of 5)

1 chiefly British : a period of reading it was a night … for a read and a long sleep— William Sansom
2 : something (such as a book) that is read a novel that's a good read
3 : the action or an instance of reading

Read

biographical name (1)
\ ˈrēd How to pronounce Read (audio) \

Definition of Read (Entry 4 of 5)

George 1733–1798 American statesman in Revolution

Read

biographical name (2)

Definition of Read (Entry 5 of 5)

Sir Herbert 1893–1968 English writer

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Synonyms for read

Synonyms: Verb

peruse, pore (over)

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Examples of read in a Sentence

Verb

She learned to read at a very early age. I can't read your handwriting. He likes reading the newspaper. She reads a lot of mystery novels. She starts work every day by reading her e-mail. Didn't you read the instructions? Please read from Chapter 5 through Chapter 10. He read the poem aloud. He wrote down the address I gave him and read it back to me. Her mother read to her every night at bedtime.

Noun

He reviewed the book after several reads. She was lying in bed having a peaceful read.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Please read these Terms of Service carefully before accessing or using our website. nybooks.com, "Terms of service," 17 June 2019 By the time kids arrive in Comer’s sixth-grade class, some have had virtually no science, some have only read textbooks, while others have been doing full-on experiments. Quanta Magazine, "The Art of Teaching Math and Science," 16 June 2019 Rather than the start of a big antitrust push, the speech can be read as a reaction to mounting pressure to rein in big tech. The Economist, "Trust-buster talk tough in America," 15 June 2019 The results can read like a bizarrely intimate window into one person’s day. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive.com, "Measles outbreaks require meticulous detective work to halt the spread," 15 June 2019 The program reads aloud condensed versions of stories a few sentences at a time. Matt Day, latimes.com, "Alexa in the classroom? Amazon’s voice assistant leads kids’ story time," 14 June 2019 Software robots can read hundreds of documents, hundreds of emails. Eshe Nelson, Quartz, "Globots and telemigrants: The new language of the future of work," 14 June 2019 For more on the science of sunscreen, read Belluz’s explainer. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The summer solstice is coming: 9 things to know about the longest day of the year," 14 June 2019 Participants of all ages can read for their choice of a book or tote bag. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Summer reading programs available at city, county libraries," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

All three can be run in RAID 0 with more than 8GBps of read speed, Asus says. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "No, really: Asus' crazy ROG Mothership is like a Surface Pro for gaming," 6 Jan. 2019 The majority of the at-home test kits use quick-read chemical strips to detect major hazards including lead, some chemicals, some pesticides and bacteria. Debbie Carlson, chicagotribune.com, "How to buy an at-home water testing kit," 15 Mar. 2018 This 2.5-inch SATA 6Gbps SSD has a maximum sequential read speed of 540MB/s and a maximum write speed of 520 MB/s. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "A 500GB Samsung 850 Evo is $150 today," 21 Aug. 2017 The 2012 iMac has a 128GB SATA SSD—its write speeds are limited by its low capacity, but the read speed is roughly indicative of where SATA SSDs were in 2012. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "Mini-review: How much faster have high-end iMacs gotten in the last 5 years?," 14 June 2017 As mentioned yesterday, The Chicago Tribune catalogued some curious changes with his Facebook results, with a growth in little read postings. vanityfair.com, "Why Are Cable News Stars Still Paid So Much Money?," 20 Apr. 2017 As mentioned yesterday, The Chicago Tribune catalogued some curious changes with his Facebook results, with a growth in little read postings. The Hive, "Why Are Cable News Stars Still Paid So Much Money?," 20 Apr. 2017 Our results are consistent with read number being proportional to fish numbers, but more work is needed on the precise relationship of eDNA and fish abundance. Mark Stoeckle, Smithsonian, "Scientists Can Tell What Fish Live Where Based On DNA in the Water," 13 Apr. 2017 Reader’s Corner airs Fridays at 6 p.m. and repeats Sundays at 11 a.m. on KBSX 91.5 FM. Bob Kustra And The Reader’s Corner Team, idahostatesman, "Reader’s Corner: How Hollywood Communists shaped an iconic film," 23 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The rating, seen by colleges but not students, is meant to give harried admissions officers a quick read on the social and economic landscape behind every application. The Washington Post, nola.com, "SAT’s new adversity score system faces its own adversity," 4 June 2019 His new book, Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide, is not an easy read, and not just because of the subject. Mark Mazower, The New York Review of Books, "Mark Mazower," 4 Apr. 2019 From a few games back but a good read from @johnfayman on Jim Riggleman's bullpen approach. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Reds Extra: You've got questions, Fay's got answers," 28 Apr. 2018 And here's a good read from The Undefeated's Marc Spears on Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, who has a valuable comic book collection. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' mailbag: Who is No. 1? Luka Doncic or DeAndre Ayton?," 17 Mar. 2018 She’s been seen carrying a copy of The Stranger by Albert Camus, a classic that has been on the must-read lists of philosophy nerds and French literature fiends for decades. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Would You Join the Bella and Gigi Hadid Book Club?," 18 Mar. 2019 And while lists of names are always an appetizing read for some, a bit of deeper diving revealed some interesting aspects of today’s social landscape. Steven Stolman, Town & Country, "How the Salonnière List of the Best Party Hosts in America Is Put Together," 21 Mar. 2019 Economists look to the report for a read on domestic demand and to extrapolate hiring and wage trends in the broader economy. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Small-Business Owners’ Confidence in U.S. Economy Weakens," 8 Jan. 2019 Billie may be out here leaving Shawn Mendes on read (seriously WHO would do that??), but that doesn't mean fans are giving up hope that the two might collaborate in the near future. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "All the Signs That Shawn Mendes and Billie Eilish are Working on a Collab Together," 4 Apr. 2019

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

Verb

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

Adjective

1586, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for read

Verb

Middle English reden to advise, interpret, read, from Old English rǣdan; akin to Old High German rātan to advise, Sanskrit rādhnoti he achieves, prepares

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More Definitions for read

read

verb

English Language Learners Definition of read

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to look at and understand the meaning of letters, words, symbols, etc.
: to read the words of (a book, magazine, etc.)
: to speak aloud the words of (something written)

read

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of read (Entry 2 of 3)

: having knowledge that has been gained from reading books, articles, etc.

read

noun

English Language Learners Definition of read (Entry 3 of 3)

informal
: something (such as a book) that is read
: an act of reading something (such as a book, article, etc.)
chiefly British : a period of time spent reading

read

verb
\ ˈrēd How to pronounce read (audio) \
read\ ˈred \; reading\ ˈrē-​diŋ \

Kids Definition of read

1 : to understand language through written symbols for speech sounds
2 : to speak aloud written or printed words I read a poem to the class.
3 : to learn from information provided in writing or printing We bought a newspaper to read about the fire.
4 : to discover something about by looking at certain characteristics or behavior read palms On his face I read boredom.
5 : to show by letters or numbers The thermometer reads zero.
6 : to explain what something is … these tracks were … wolves' tracks. Pa read the tracks for Mary …— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
7 : to interpret stored data (as on a computer drive or optical disk) The DVD player has to read the disk.

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More from Merriam-Webster on read

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with read

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for read

Spanish Central: Translation of read

Nglish: Translation of read for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of read for Arabic Speakers

Comments on read

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