• synonyms


  1. the action or practice of a person who reads.
  2. Speech. the oral interpretation of written language.
  3. the interpretation given in the performance of a dramatic part, musical composition, etc.: an interesting reading of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.
  4. the extent to which a person has read; literary knowledge: a man of wide reading.
  5. matter read or for reading: a novel that makes good reading.
  6. the form or version of a given passage in a particular text: the various readings of a line in Shakespeare.
  7. an instance or occasion in which a text or other matter is read or performed, usually without elaborate preparation and often as a means of testing its merits: The playwright wants to have a reading of the play for prospective producers.
  8. an interpretation given to anything: What is your reading of the situation?
  9. the indication of a graduated instrument: The reading is 101.2°F.
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  1. pertaining to or used for reading: reading glasses.
  2. given to reading: the reading public.
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Origin of reading

before 900; Middle English redyng (gerund), Old English rǣdinge. See read1, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsnon·read·ing, nounself-read·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for self-reading


    1. the act of a person who reads
    2. (as modifier)a reading room; a reading lamp
    1. ability to read
    2. (as modifier)the reading public; a child of reading age
  1. any matter that can be read; written or printed text
  2. a public recital or rendering of a literary work
  3. the form of a particular word or passage in a given text, esp where more than one version exists
  4. an interpretation, as of a piece of music, a situation, or something said or written
  5. knowledge gained from booksa person of little reading
  6. a measurement indicated by a gauge, dial, scientific instrument, etc
  7. parliamentary procedure
    1. the formal recital of the body or title of a bill in a legislative assembly in order to begin one of the stages of its passage
    2. one of the three stages in the passage of a bill through a legislative assemblySee first reading, second reading, third reading
  8. the formal recital of something written, esp a will
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  1. a town in S England, in Reading unitary authority, Berkshire, on the River Thames: university (1892). Pop: 232 662 (2001)
  2. a unitary authority in S England, in Berkshire. Pop: 144 100 (2003 est). Area: 37 sq km (14 sq miles)
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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 self-reading



Old English ræding, "a reading, the act of reading" either silent or aloud, "a passage or lesson," verbal noun; see read (v.)). Meaning "interpretation" is from mid-14c. (in reference to dreams). Meaning "a form of a passage of text" is from 1550s; that of "a public event featuring reading aloud" is from 1787.

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county town of Berkshire, Old English Readingum (c.900), "(Settlement of) the family or followers of a man called *Read."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper