Nearby words

  1. reactively,
  2. reactivity,
  3. reactor,
  4. reactor vessel,
  5. reactor, nuclear,
  6. read a lecture,
  7. read between the lines,
  8. read in,
  9. read into,
  10. read like an open book


Origin of read

before 900; Middle English reden, Old English rǣdan to counsel, read; cognate with Dutch raden, German raten, Old Norse rātha; akin to Sanskrit rādhnoti (he) achieves




having knowledge gained by reading (usually used in combination): a well-read person.

Origin of read

First recorded in 1580–90; past participle of read1




George,1733–98, American political leader: served in the Continental Congress 1774–77.
Sir Herbert,1893–1968, English critic and poet.
a male given name: from an Old English word meaning “red.” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for read

British Dictionary definitions for read



verb reads, reading or read (rɛd)

to comprehend the meaning of (something written or printed) by looking at and interpreting the written or printed characters
to be occupied in such an activityhe was reading all day
(when tr , often foll by out) to look at, interpret, and speak aloud (something written or printed)he read to us from the Bible
(tr) to interpret the significance or meaning of through scrutiny and recognitionhe read the sky and predicted rain; to read a map
(tr) to interpret or understand the meaning of (signs, characters, etc) other than by visual meansto read Braille
(tr) to have sufficient knowledge of (a language) to understand the written or printed worddo you read German?
(tr) to discover or make out the true nature or mood ofto read someone's mind
to interpret or understand (something read) in a specified way, or (of something read) to convey a particular meaning or impressionI read this speech as satire; this book reads well
(tr) to adopt as a reading in a particular passagefor ``boon'' read ``bone''
(intr) to have or contain a certain form or wordingthe sentence reads as follows
to undertake a course of study in (a subject)to read history; read for the bar
to gain knowledge by readinghe read about the war
(tr) to register, indicate, or showthe meter reads 100
(tr) to bring or put into a specified condition by readingto read a child to sleep
(tr) to hear and understand, esp when using a two-way radiowe are reading you loud and clear
computing to obtain (data) from a storage device, such as magnetic tapeCompare write (def. 16)
(tr) to understand (written or printed music) by interpretation of the notes on the staff and to be able to reproduce the musical sounds represented by these notes
read a lesson or read a lecture informal to censure or reprimand, esp in a long-winded manner
read between the lines to perceive or deduce a meaning that is hidden or implied rather than being openly stated
you wouldn't read about it Australian informal an expression of dismay, disgust, or disbelief


matter suitable for readingthis new book is a very good read
the act of reading

Word Origin for read

Old English rǣdan to advise, explain; related to Old Frisian rēda, Old High German rātan, Gothic garēdan


the past tense and past participle of read 1


having knowledge gained from books (esp in the phrases widely read, well-read)
take something as read to take something for granted as a fact; understand or presume
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 read
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with read


In addition to the idioms beginning with read

  • read a lecture
  • read between the lines
  • read into
  • read like an open book
  • read out of
  • read someone's mind
  • read the riot act
  • read up

also see:

  • do you read me
  • open book, read like an
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.