verb (used with object), proof·read [proof-red] /ˈprufˌrɛd/, proof·read·ing [proof-ree-ding] /ˈprufˌri dɪŋ/.

to read (printers' proofs, copy, etc.) in order to detect and mark errors to be corrected.

verb (used without object), proof·read [proof-red] /ˈprufˌrɛd/, proof·read·ing [proof-ree-ding] /ˈprufˌri dɪŋ/.

to read printers' proofs, copy, etc., to detect and mark errors, especially as an employee of a typesetting firm, newspaper office, or publishing house.

Origin of proofread

1930–35; back formation from proofreader (see proof, read1)
Related formsproof·read·er, nounun·proof·read [uhn-proof-red] /ʌnˈprufˌrɛd/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for proofreader

Historical Examples of proofreader

  • Is that not the business of the author, the editor, and the proofreader?


    Frederick W. Hamilton

  • If any questions are to be raised they should be discussed by the proofreader with the author.


    Frederick W. Hamilton

  • W R fired three copyboys and a proofreader he was so mad at himself.

  • The proofreader on a paper of large circulation is an example.

    The Book of Courage

    John Thomson Faris

  • Any questions which then arise lie between the author and the proofreader.

    Division of Words

    Frederick W. Hamilton

British Dictionary definitions for proofreader


verb -reads, -reading or -read (-ˌrɛd)

to read (copy or printer's proofs) to detect and mark errors to be corrected
Derived Formsproofreader, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for proofreader

also proof-reader, 1808, from proof (n.) in the typographical sense + reader.



also proof-read, 1878, back-formation from proofreader. Related: Proofread; Proofreading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper