Did you know?

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

reading - definition and synonyms


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.



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.

noun reading pronunciation in British English /ˈriːdɪŋ/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [uncountable] the process of recognizing written or printed words and understanding their meaning
    My little boy is having difficulty with his reading.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      [only before noun] relating to the process of reading
      a test for assessing children’s reading skills
      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [singular/uncountable] the act of reading or studying a book, newspaper, document etc
    I haven’t done much reading lately.
    background reading (=books, articles etc containing general information about a subject): Included in the book are suggestions for background reading.
    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    [uncountable] something that you read
    This report is my bedtime reading at the moment.
    reading material/matter: The prisoners have limited reading material.
    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [countable] an event at which someone reads something to a group of people
    We attended the reading of my uncle’s will.
    give a reading: She is giving a poetry reading tonight.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      something that someone reads to a group of people, for example at a public event or religious ceremony
      This morning’s reading is from the Old Testament.
  5. 5
    [countable] a number or amount shown on a piece of measuring equipment
    The magnetism in the rock could produce distorted compass readings.
  6. 6
    [countable] a particular way of thinking about a situation, statement, or event
    a modern reading of Freud’s work



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


a stupid person

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


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