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readership

[ree-der-ship]
noun
  1. the people who read or are thought to read a particular book, newspaper, magazine, etc.: The periodical has a dwindling readership.
  2. the duty, status, or profession of a reader.
  3. (especially in British universities) the position of instructor or lecturer.
  4. the state or quality of being a reader: appealing to a higher level of readership.
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Origin of readership

First recorded in 1710–20; reader + -ship
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for readership

readership

noun
  1. all the readers collectively of a particular publication or authora readership of five million; Dickens's readership
  2. mainly British the office, position, or rank of university reader
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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 readership

n.

1719, "office of a reader," from reader + -ship. Meaning "total number of readers of a publication" is from 1914.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper