Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

read  - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb read pronunciation in British English /riːd/
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theyread
he/she/itreads
present participlereading
past tenseread
past participleread
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to look at and understand words in a letter, book, newspaper etc

    I read a few chapters of a book every night.

    He was sitting reading in the waiting room.

    read and write:

    By the age of five, he was able to read and write.

    read something from cover to cover (=all of something):

    I always read the paper from cover to cover.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to speak the words that you are looking at
      read (something) to someone:

      Reading to young children helps develop their language skills.

      read someone something:

      Read me that last sentence again.

      read (something) aloud/out loud:

      I’m going to read this poem aloud.

      read from something:

      She will be reading from her latest novel.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] to get information from books, newspapers etc
      read about:

      He likes reading about wildlife.

      read something in something:

      We read it in the local paper.

    3. c.
      [transitive] used for telling someone about mistakes in printing
      for something, read something:

      On page 61, for ‘three thousand’, read ‘three million’.

      read something as something:

      The figure £600 should be read as $600.

  2. 2
    [transitive] if you can read music, you can understand the written marks that represent musical sounds
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      to look at and understand the information, symbols, or numbers on a map or a piece of measuring equipment

      Has the man been to read the gas meter?

  3. 3
    [transitive] to understand something in a particular way

    They had read the situation extremely accurately.

    read something as something:

    We had read their decision as an admission of failure.

  4. 4
    [transitive] if a short piece of writing reads something, it contains those particular words

    The label read, ‘Suitable only for children over three’.

  5. 5
    [transitive] if a computer or other piece of electronic equipment reads something, it examines the information on it or copies it to a particular place
  6. 6
    [transitive] if a piece of measuring equipment reads something, it shows a particular number or amount

    The thermometer has been reading over 90 degrees all day.

  7. 7
    [transitive] to be able to understand what someone is like or what they are thinking

    It was difficult to read his expression.

    See also book1, mind1
  8. 8
    [intransitive] if something reads well or badly, you think it has been written well or badly
  9. 9
    [transitive] to hear someone who is speaking to you by radio

    This is Charlie Alpha Five. Do you read me?

  10. 10
    [transitive] British old-fashioned to study a particular subject at university

bit rot

when electronic information is lost because the software or devices needed to read it are no longer available

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

jive

to dance a jive

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog