What does read mean?

Definitions for read

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word read.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. readverb

    something that is read

    "the article was a very good read"

  2. readverb

    interpret something that is written or printed

    "read the advertisement"; "Have you read Salman Rushdie?"

  3. read, sayverb

    have or contain a certain wording or form

    "The passage reads as follows"; "What does the law say?"

  4. readverb

    look at, interpret, and say out loud something that is written or printed

    "The King will read the proclamation at noon"

  5. read, scanverb

    obtain data from magnetic tapes

    "This dictionary can be read by the computer"

  6. readverb

    interpret the significance of, as of palms, tea leaves, intestines, the sky; also of human behavior

    "She read the sky and predicted rain"; "I can't read his strange behavior"; "The fortune teller read his fate in the crystal ball"

  7. take, readverb

    interpret something in a certain way; convey a particular meaning or impression

    "I read this address as a satire"; "How should I take this message?"; "You can't take credit for this!"

  8. learn, study, read, takeverb

    be a student of a certain subject

    "She is reading for the bar exam"

  9. read, register, show, recordverb

    indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments

    "The thermometer showed thirteen degrees below zero"; "The gauge read `empty'"

  10. readverb

    audition for a stage role by reading parts of a role

    "He is auditioning for `Julius Caesar' at Stratford this year"

  11. readverb

    to hear and understand

    "I read you loud and clear!"

  12. understand, read, interpret, translateverb

    make sense of a language

    "She understands French"; "Can you read Greek?"


  1. readnoun

    A reading or an act of reading, especially an actor's part of a play.

  2. readverb

    To think, believe; to consider (that).

  3. readverb

    To interpret or infer a meaning, significance, etc.

    I can read his feelings in his face.

  4. readverb

    To substitute (a corrected piece of text in place of an erroneous one); .

  5. readverb

    to recognise (someone) as being transgender

    Every time I go outside, I worry that someone will read me.

  6. Readnoun

    transferred from the surname.

  7. readverb

    To look at and interpret letters or other information that is written.

    have you read this book?;  he doesn’t like to read

  8. readverb

    To speak aloud words or other information that is written. Often construed with a to phrase or an indirect object.

    He read us a passage from his new book.

  9. readverb

    To interpret, or infer a meaning, significance, thought, intention, etc. from.

    She read my mind and promptly rose to get me a glass of water.

  10. readverb

    To consist of certain text.

    On the door hung a sign that reads "No admittance".

  11. readverb

    Of text, etc., to be interpreted or read in a particular way.

    Arabic reads right to left.

  12. readverb

    To substitute; used to introduce an emendation of a text.

    In Livy, it is nearly certain that for Pylleon we should read Pteleon, as this place is mentioned in connection with Antron.

  13. readverb

    Used after a euphemism to introduce the intended, more blunt meaning of a term.

    Eliminate illogical answer choices.

  14. readverb

    To be able to hear what another person is saying over a radio connection.

    Do you read me?

  15. readverb

    To make a special study of, as by perusing textbooks.

    I am reading theology at university.

  16. readverb

    To fetch data from.

    to read a hard disk; to read a port; to read the keyboard

  17. readverb

    To think, believe; to consider.

    But now, faire Ladie, comfort to you make, / And read / That short reuenge the man may ouertake

  18. readverb

    To advise; to counsel. See rede.

    Therefore, I read thee, get to God's word, and thereby try all doctrine.

  19. readverb

    To tell; to declare; to recite.

    But read how art thou named, and of what kin.

  20. readverb

    To recognise as being transgender.

    Every time I go outside, I worry that someone will read me.

  21. readverb

    To call attention to the flaws of in either a playful, a taunting, or an insulting way.

    Snapping, we are told, comes from reading, or exposing hidden flaws in a person's life, and out of reading comes shade

  22. Readnoun

    A surname, a less common spelling variant of Reid.

  23. Readnoun

    A male given name transferred from the surname.

  24. Etymology: From Middle English reden, from Old English rǣdan ("to counsel, advise, consult; interpret, read"), from Proto-Germanic *rēdaną ("advise, counsel"), from Proto-Indo-European *Hreh₁dʰ- ("to arrange"). Cognate with Scots rede, red ("to advise, counsel, decipher, read"), Saterland Frisian räide ("to advise, counsel"), West Frisian riede ("to advise, counsel"), Dutch raden ("to advise; guess, counsel, rede"), German raten ("to advise; guess"), Danish råde ("to advise"), Swedish råda ("to advise, counsel"). The development from ‘advise, interpret’ to ‘interpret letters, read’ is unique to English among Germanic languages. Compare rede.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Readnoun

    Etymology: ræd , Saxon; raed, Dutch.

    The man is blest that hath not lent
    To wicked read his ear. Thomas Sternhold.

    This reade is rife that oftentime
    Great cumbers fall unsoft,
    In humble dales is footing fast,
    The trade is not so tickle. Edmund Spenser.

  2. Readparticip. adj.

    Skilful by reading.

    Etymology: from read;

    Virgil’s shepherds are too well read in the philosophy of Epicurus. Dryden.

    We have a poet among us, of a genius as exalted as his stature, and who is very well read in Longinus his treatise concerning the sublime. Joseph Addison, Guardian, № 108.

  3. To READverb

    pret. read, part. pass. read.

    Etymology: ræd , Saxon.

    I have seen her take forth paper, write upon’t, read it, and afterwards seal it. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    The passage you must have read, though since slipt out of your memory. Alexander Pope.

    If we have not leisure to read over the book itself regularly, then by the titles of chapters we may be directed to peruse several scctions. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

    An armed corse did lye,
    In whose dead face he read great magnanimity. Edmund Spenser.

    Those about her
    From her shall read the perfect ways of honour. William Shakespeare.

    O most delicate fiend!
    Who is’t can read a woman? William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

  4. To Readverb

    It shall be with him, and he shall read therein, that he may learn to fear the Lord. Deut. xvii. 19.

    ’Tis sure that Fleury reads. Taylor.

    I have read of an eastern king, who put a judge to death for an iniquitous sentence. Jonathan Swift.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Readnoun

    rennet. See 3d Reed

  2. Read

    of Read

  3. Readverb

    to advise; to counsel

  4. Readverb

    to interpret; to explain; as, to read a riddle

  5. Readverb

    to tell; to declare; to recite

  6. Readverb

    to go over, as characters or words, and utter aloud, or recite to one's self inaudibly; to take in the sense of, as of language, by interpreting the characters with which it is expressed; to peruse; as, to read a discourse; to read the letters of an alphabet; to read figures; to read the notes of music, or to read music; to read a book

  7. Readverb

    hence, to know fully; to comprehend

  8. Readverb

    to discover or understand by characters, marks, features, etc.; to learn by observation

  9. Readverb

    to make a special study of, as by perusing textbooks; as, to read theology or law

  10. Readverb

    to give advice or counsel

  11. Readverb

    to tell; to declare

  12. Readverb

    to perform the act of reading; to peruse, or to go over and utter aloud, the words of a book or other like document

  13. Readverb

    to study by reading; as, he read for the bar

  14. Readverb

    to learn by reading

  15. Readverb

    to appear in writing or print; to be expressed by, or consist of, certain words or characters; as, the passage reads thus in the early manuscripts

  16. Readverb

    to produce a certain effect when read; as, that sentence reads queerly

  17. Readverb

    saying; sentence; maxim; hence, word; advice; counsel. See Rede

  18. Read


  19. Read

    imp. & p. p. of Read, v. t. & i

  20. Readadjective

    instructed or knowing by reading; versed in books; learned

  21. Etymology: [OE. reden, rden, AS. rdan to read, advise, counsel, fr. rd advice, counsel, rdan (imperf. reord) to advise, counsel, guess; akin to D. raden to advise, G. raten, rathen, Icel. ra, Goth. rdan (in comp.), and perh. also to Skr. rdh to succeed. 116. Cf. Riddle.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Read

    rēd, v.t. to utter aloud written or printed words: to peruse: to comprehend: to study, as to read law, science: to teach: to make out, from signs: to solve, as to read a dream: to interpret: to understand, as reading the stars: to note the indication of, as to read a barometer: impute by inference, as to read a meaning into a book.—v.i. to perform the act of reading: to practise much reading: to appear on reading: to advise: to speak: to acquire information: to utter the words of a book: (mus.) to render music at first sight: to put a certain expression upon it: to be suitable for perusal:—pa.t. and pa.p. read (red).—n. Read, a reading, perusal: (Spens.) counsel, a saying, an interpretation.—adj Read (red), versed in books: learned.—ns. Readabil′ity, Read′ableness.—adj Readable (rēd′a-bl), that may be read: worth reading: interesting: enabling to read.—adv. Read′ably.—ns. Read′er, one who reads: one whose office it is to read prayers in a church, or lectures in a university, &c.: one who reads or corrects proofs: one who reads much: a reading-book; Read′ership, the office of a reader.—adj. Read′ing, addicted to reading.—n. act of reading: perusal: study of books: public or formal recital: the way in which a passage reads: an interpretation of a passage or work: a version: noting an instrument, as the reading of a barometer.—ns. Read′ing-book, a book of exercises in reading; Read′ing-boy (print.), a reader's assistant; Read′ing-desk, a desk for holding a book or paper while it is read: a church-lectern; Read′ing-lamp, a form of lamp for use in reading; Read′ing-room, a room with papers, periodicals, &c., resorted to for reading.—Read between the lines, to detect a meaning not expressed; Read one's self in, in the Church of England, to read the Thirty-nine Articles and repeat the declaration of assent prescribed by law to a new incumbent.—Penny reading, an entertainment consisting of readings, &c., to which the admission is a penny. [A.S. rǽdan, to discern, read—rǽd, counsel; Ger. rathen, to advise.]

Editors Contribution

  1. read

    Seeing, understanding and knowing spelling, words and language.

    To read is a joy to learn or understand certain things in life.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 31, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. READ

    What does READ stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the READ acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. READ

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Read is ranked #2127 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Read surname appeared 17,048 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 6 would have the surname Read.

    91% or 15,527 total occurrences were White.
    3.8% or 655 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.7% or 467 total occurrences were Black.
    1.3% or 227 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.5% or 101 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.4% or 73 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'read' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #430

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'read' in Written Corpus Frequency: #363

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'read' in Verbs Frequency: #74

Anagrams for read »

  1. DARE

  2. dare

  3. dear

  4. 'eard

  5. rade

  6. ared

  7. daer

How to pronounce read?

How to say read in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of read in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of read in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of read in a Sentence

  1. Laurence Rees:

    I have always cooperated fully with German authorities, when asked, over the prosecution of suspected war criminals, and will continue to do so, i passionately believe in bringing such people to justice whenever possible. Indeed, if you read the conclusion of my book on Auschwitz, you will see how strongly I criticize the lack of prosecution of members of the SS at Auschwitz after the war and call it 'a collective failure of the international community.’.

  2. Randy Shulman:

    Metro Weekly comes back to this forgiveness thing, if you read between the lines, Roe Messner's not saying to me,' Metro Weekly's OK that you're gay ; Roe Messner's saying,' I forgive you for being gay and when you go off and die, Metro Weekly's going to be between you and your maker.'.

  3. Dominic Hodgson:

    If you'd taken a photograph of these parts of Antarctic Peninsula 50 years ago it would have been a monochrome shot of ice, nothing but glaciers. Read More.

  4. Noah Oppenheim:

    I think we can cover it without taking a side per se in an overt way. I think the audience and the readers are sophisticated enough when they read what’s going on to draw their own conclusions about whether it’s good or bad for our democracy.

  5. Abraham Lincoln:

    My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. I never did like to work, and I don't deny it. I'd rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh - anything but work.

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Translations for read

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    the largest tarsal bone; forms the human heel
    • A. collation
    • B. calcaneus
    • C. impounding
    • D. defilement

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