Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed characters, words, or sentences).
  • transitive v. To utter or render aloud (written or printed material): read poems to the students.
  • transitive v. To have the ability to examine and grasp the meaning of (written or printed material in a given language or notation): reads Chinese; reads music.
  • transitive v. To examine and grasp the meaning of (language in a form other than written or printed characters, words, or sentences): reading Braille; reading sign language.
  • transitive v. To examine and grasp the meaning of (a graphic representation): reading a map.
  • transitive v. To discern and interpret the nature or significance of through close examination or sensitive observation: The tracker read the trail for signs of game.
  • transitive v. To discern or anticipate through examination or observation; descry: "I can read abandonment in a broken door or shattered window” ( William H. Gass).
  • transitive v. To determine the intent or mood of: can read your mind like a book; a hard person to read.
  • transitive v. To attribute a certain interpretation or meaning to: read her words differently than I did.
  • transitive v. To consider (something written or printed) as having a particular meaning or significance: read the novel as a parable.
  • transitive v. To foretell or predict (the future).
  • transitive v. To receive or comprehend (a radio message, for example): I read you loud and clear.
  • transitive v. To study or make a study of: read history as an undergraduate.
  • transitive v. To learn or get knowledge of from something written or printed: read that interest rates would continue to rise.
  • transitive v. To proofread.
  • transitive v. To have or use as a preferred reading in a particular passage: For change read charge.
  • transitive v. To indicate, register, or show: The dial reads 32°.
  • transitive v. Computer Science To obtain (data) from a storage medium, such as a magnetic disk.
  • transitive v. Genetics To decode or translate a sequence of messenger RNA into an amino acid sequence in a polypeptide chain.
  • intransitive v. To examine and grasp the meaning of printed or written characters, as of words or music.
  • intransitive v. To speak aloud the words that one is reading: read to the children every night.
  • intransitive v. To learn by reading: read about the storm in the paper today.
  • intransitive v. To study.
  • intransitive v. To have a particular wording: Recite the poem exactly as it reads.
  • intransitive v. To contain a specific meaning: As the law reads, the defendant is guilty.
  • intransitive v. To indicate, register, or show a measurement or figure: How does your new watch read?
  • intransitive v. To have a specified character or quality for the reader: Your poems read well.
  • n. Informal Something that is read: "The book is a page-turner as well as a very satisfying read” ( Frank Conroy).
  • adj. Informed by reading; learned: only sparsely read in fields outside my profession.
  • read out To read aloud: Please read out the names on the list.
  • read up To study or learn by reading: Read up on the places you plan to visit before you travel.
  • idiom lecture To issue a reprimand: My parents read me a lecture because I had neglected my chores.
  • idiom read between the lines To perceive or detect an obscure or unexpressed meaning: learned to read between the lines of corporate annual reports to discern areas of fiscal weakness.
  • idiom read out of To expel by proclamation from a social, political, or other group: was read out of the secretariat after the embarrassing incident.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A reading or an act of reading, especially an actor's part of a play.
  • v. To think, believe; to consider (that).
  • v. To look at and interpret letters or other information that is written.
  • v. To speak aloud words or other information that is written. Often construed with a to phrase or an indirect object.
  • v. To interpret or infer a meaning, significance, etc.
  • v. To consist of certain text.
  • v. Of text, etc., to be interpreted or read in a particular way.
  • v. To substitute (a corrected piece of text in place of an erroneous one); used to introduce an emendation of a text.
  • v. Used after a euphemism to introduce the intended, more blunt meaning of a term.
  • v. To be able to hear what another person is saying over a radio connection.
  • v. To make a special study of, as by perusing textbooks.
  • v. to recognise (someone) as being transgender
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of read.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Rennet. See 3d reed.
  • transitive v. To advise; to counsel.
  • transitive v. To interpret; to explain.
  • transitive v. To tell; to declare; to recite.
  • transitive v. To go over, as characters or words, and utter aloud, or recite to one's self inaudibly; to take in the sense of, as of language, by interpreting the characters with which it is expressed; to peruse
  • transitive v. Hence, to know fully; to comprehend.
  • transitive v. To discover or understand by characters, marks, features, etc.; to learn by observation.
  • transitive v. To make a special study of, as by perusing textbooks.
  • intransitive v. To give advice or counsel.
  • intransitive v. To tell; to declare.
  • intransitive v. To perform the act of reading; to peruse, or to go over and utter aloud, the words of a book or other like document.
  • intransitive v. To study by reading.
  • intransitive v. To learn by reading.
  • intransitive v. To appear in writing or print; to be expressed by, or consist of, certain words or characters.
  • intransitive v. To produce a certain effect when read.
  • n. Saying; sentence; maxim; hence, word; advice; counsel. See rede.
  • n. Reading.
  • imp. & p. p. of read, v. t. & i.
  • adj. Instructed or knowing by reading; versed in books; learned.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To counsel; advise; recommend.
  • To teach; instil, as a lesson.
  • To explain the meaning of; explain; interpret; make out; solve: as, to read a riddle; to read a dream.
  • To declare; tell; rehearse.
  • To suppose; guess; imagine; fancy.
  • To understand by observation or scrutiny; acquire a knowledge of (something not otherwise obvious) by interpreting signs or indications; study out; interpret: as, to read the signs of the times; to read the sky or a person's countenance.
  • To discover by observation or scrutiny; perceive from signs or indications.
  • To observe and apprehend the meaning of (something written, printed, inscribed, or stamped in letters or other significant characters); go over with the eyes (or, in the case of the blind, with the fingers) and take in the meaning of (significant characters forming or representing words or sentences); peruse: as, to read a book, newspaper, poem, inscription, or piece of music.
  • To note the indication of (a graduated instrument): as, to read a thermometer or a circle.
  • To utter aloud: said of words or sounds represented by letters or other significant characters.
  • To peruse or study (a subject in the books written about it); learn through reading: as, to read law or philosophy; to read science for a degree; to read the news; we read that the meek shall inherit the earth.
  • To perceive or assume in the reading or study of a book or writing (something not expressed or directly indicated); impute or import by inference: as, to read a meaning in a book which the author did not intend; to read one's own notions into a book; to read something between the lines.
  • To affect by reading so as to bring into a specified condition: as, to read a child asleep; to read one's self blind.
  • To read about.
  • To counsel; advise; give advice or warning.
  • To speak; discourse; declare; tell.
  • To peruse something written or printed; acquire information from a record of any kind.
  • To utter aloud the words of something written or printed; enunciate the words of a book or writing.
  • In music: To perform or render music at first sight of the notes: applied to either vocal or instrumental performance: as, he plays well, but reads very slowly.
  • To perform or render music in a particular way; put a certain expression upon it; interpret it: used of a performer or conductor.
  • To give a recital or lecture; rehearse something written or learned: as, to read before a public audience.
  • To study systematically from books or writings: sometimes with up.
  • To appear on reading; have a (specified) meaning.
  • To have a certain quality or effect in perusal; used absolutely, to be suitable or desirable for perusal.
  • Having knowledge gained from reading; instructed by reading; in general, versed: now usually with well: as, well read in the classics.
  • n. Counsel; advice.
  • n. Interpretation.
  • n. Speech; tale; narrative.
  • n. A saying; a proverb.
  • n. Reading; perusal.
  • An obsolete form of red.
  • A dialectal form of red.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. audition for a stage role by reading parts of a role
  • v. be a student of a certain subject
  • v. have or contain a certain wording or form
  • v. interpret the significance of, as of palms, tea leaves, intestines, the sky; also of human behavior
  • v. interpret something in a certain way; convey a particular meaning or impression
  • v. look at, interpret, and say out loud something that is written or printed
  • v. make sense of a language
  • v. interpret something that is written or printed
  • v. indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments
  • n. something that is read
  • v. obtain data from magnetic tapes
  • v. to hear and understand

Etymologies

Middle English reden, from Old English rǣdan, to advise.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English rǣdan ("advise, read"), from Proto-Germanic *rēdanan (“advise, counsel”). Cognate with Danish råde, Dutch raden, German raten, Swedish råda. The development from ‘advise, interpret’ to ‘interpret letters, read’ is unique to English. Compare rede. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Recently came across this usage in regard to having an original musical composition played by musicians: "Has this been read yet?"

    May 31, 2010

  • It's even more boring in the past tense. Read. Thud. Bed. Dud.

    August 5, 2008

  • How could this be such a boring word for such an incredibly mind-expanding, tremendously important activity?

    August 5, 2008

  • present tense v. past tense.

    November 22, 2007