not read, as a letter or newspaper.
lacking in knowledge gained by reading; having read little or nothing: She was intelligent but unread.
having little knowledge of a specific field: a brilliant chemist unread in biology.

Origin of unread

First recorded in 1425–75, unread is from the late Middle English word unred. See un-1, read2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unread

Contemporary Examples of unread

Historical Examples of unread

  • These might readily have been consigned to the depths of the wastebasket unopened, unread.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • She took it and held it unread, looking at him with dark tragic eyes.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • The evening paper, as yet unread, lay on the sofa beside her.


    Robert W. Chambers

  • Her Ladyship sat with an unread book on her knees gazing into nothingness.

    Colorado Jim

    George Goodchild

  • The topic is so interesting that the unread paragraph has to wait.

    Somehow Good

    William de Morgan

British Dictionary definitions for unread



(of a book, newspaper, etc) not yet read
(of a person) having read little
(postpositive foll by in) not versed (in a specified field)
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