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read [verb] (UNDERSTAND)
US /riːd/ 
UK /riːd/ 

I read a story to my son every night.

Oxford Essential Dictionary


 verb (reads, reading, read /, has read)

1 to look at words and understand them:
Have you read this book? It's very interesting.

2 to say words that you can see:
I read a story to the children.

read something out to read something to other people:
The teacher read out the list of names.

>> reading noun (no plural):
My interests are reading and football.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


I. read1 S1 W1 /riːd/ BrE AmE verb (past tense and past participle read /red/)
[Word Family: noun: ↑read, ↑reader, ↑readership, ↑reading, ↑readability; verb: ↑read; adjective: ↑readable ≠ ↑unreadable]
[Language: Old English; Origin: rædan]
1. WORDS/BOOKS [intransitive and transitive] to look at written words and understand what they mean:
I can’t read your writing.
She picked up the letter and read it.
Read the instructions carefully before you start.
children who are just learning to read and write
Her books are quite widely read (=read by a lot of people).
When I was young, I read every one of his books from cover to cover (=read all of something because you are very interested).
2. FIND INFORMATION [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] to find out information from books, newspapers etc:
You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.
read about
Did you read about what happened to that guy in Florida?
read of
I was shocked when I read of his death.
read (that)
I read last week that the disease is on the increase.
3. READ AND SPEAK [intransitive and transitive] to say the words in a book, newspaper etc so that people can hear them
read somebody something
Daddy, will you read me a story?
read (something) to somebody
Our mother reads to us every evening.
Teachers should read more poetry to children.
He glanced at the letter and began to read it aloud.
4. MUSIC/MAPS ETC [transitive] to look at signs or pictures and understand what they mean:
He plays the violin very well but can’t actually read music.
Are you any good at map reading?
5. COMPUTER [transitive] technical if a computer can read a ↑disk, it can take the information that is on the disk and put it into its memory
6. UNDERSTAND SOMETHING IN A PARTICULAR WAY [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to understand a situation, remark etc in one of several possible ways SYN interpret:
I wasn’t sure how to read his silence.
read something as something
She shook her head, and I read this as a refusal.
The poem can be read as a protest against war.
read something well/accurately (=understand something correctly)
He had accurately read the mood of the nation.
7. HAVE WORDS ON [transitive not in progressive] used to say what words are on a sign, in a letter etc SYN say:
A sign on the outer door read: ‘No Entry’.
8. STYLE OF WRITING [intransitive] if something reads well, badly etc, it has been written well, badly etc:
I think in general the report reads well.
9. read something as/for something to replace one word or number with another one, usually with the correct one:
Please read £50 as £15.
For ‘November’ (=instead of November) on line 6, read ‘September’.
10. MEASURING [transitive]
a) to look at the number or amount shown on a measuring instrument:
Someone should be coming to read the gas meter.
b) if a measuring instrument reads a particular number, it shows that number:
The thermometer read 46 degrees.
11. AT UNIVERSITY [intransitive and transitive] British English to study a subject at a university:
I read history at Cambridge.
read for
He wants to read for a law degree.
In everyday British English, people usually say that someone does a subject at university:
▪ I did history at Cambridge.
▪ He wants to do a law degree.
12. take it as read (that) especially British English to feel certain that something is true although no one has told you it is true SYN assume:
You can take it as read that we will support the project.
13. take something as read to accept that a report or statement is correct without reading it or discussing it:
We’ll take the secretary’s report as read.
14. read between the lines to guess someone’s real feelings from something they say or write, when they do not tell you directly:
Reading between the lines, I’d say Robert’s not very happy.
15. read sb’s mind/thoughts to guess what someone else is thinking:
‘Want some coffee?’ ‘You read my mind.’
16. can read somebody like a book if you can read someone like a book, you know them so well that you immediately know what they are thinking or feeling
17. read sb’s palm to look carefully at someone’s hand, in order to find out about their future
18. read sb’s lips to understand what someone is saying by watching the way their lips move. People who cannot hear do this. ⇨ ↑lip-read
19. read my lips spoken used to tell someone that you really mean what you are saying:
Read my lips: I will not let you down.
20. do you read me? spoken used to ask someone whether they can hear you when you are speaking to them by radio
21. well-read/widely-read someone who is well-read has read a lot of books and knows a lot about many subjects:
She is intelligent and extremely well-read.
⇨ ↑reading, ⇨ read (somebody) the riot act at ↑riot1(4)
• • •
read to look at and understand the words in a book, magazine, letter etc for interest, enjoyment, or study: What book are you reading at the moment? | I usually read the newspaper on the way to work.
flick/flip/leaf through something to turn the pages of a book, magazine etc quickly, looking for things that might interest you: While I was waiting, I flicked through a magazine. | She was flipping through the pages of an encyclopedia. | Cunningham was leafing through a copy of the Financial Times at his desk amidst a cloud of cigar-smoke.
browse through something to spend time looking through a book, magazine etc without any clear purpose, looking for things that might interest you: Would you like to browse through our holiday brochure?
skim/scan (through) something to read something quickly to get the main ideas or find a particular piece of information: I want you to skim through the article and write a short summary of it. | Tony scanned the menu for a vegetarian option.
pore over something to read something very carefully for a long time: They spent weeks poring over guidebooks and planning their holiday.
devour something /dɪˈvaʊə $ -ˈvaʊr/ to read something quickly and eagerly: Her young fans devour her books.
dip into something to read short parts of something: It’s a book you can dip into rather than read from cover to cover.
plough/wade through something to read something long and boring: He’s upstairs ploughing through financial reports. | I can’t possibly wade through all this.
surf the Net/Internet/Web to look quickly through information on the Internet, stopping to read what interests you: I was surfing the Net, trying to find my ideal job.
read something ↔ back phrasal verb
to read out loud something that you have just written down
read something ↔ back to
Can you read that last bit back to me?
read for something phrasal verb
to say some of the words that are said by a particular character in a play, as a test of your ability to act
read something into something phrasal verb
to think that a situation, action etc has a meaning or importance that it does not really have:
It was only a casual remark. I think you’re reading too much into it.
read something ↔ out phrasal verb
to read and say words that are written down, so that people can hear:
Why don’t you read out the name of the winner?
read something ↔ out to
He read the last few sentences out to me.
read something ↔ through/over phrasal verb
to read something carefully from beginning to end in order to check details or find mistakes SYN check over/through:
Read the contract over carefully before you sign it.
Spend a couple of minutes just reading through your essay.
read up on something (also read something ↔ up British English) phrasal verb
to read a lot about something because you will need to know about it:
You’ll enjoy traveling more if you read up on the history of the countries you’ll be visiting.
II. read2 BrE AmE noun [singular] informal
[Word Family: noun: ↑read, ↑reader, ↑readership, ↑reading, ↑readability; verb: ↑read; adjective: ↑readable ≠ ↑unreadable]
1. British English if you have a read, you spend time reading:
I sat down to have a nice quiet read.
read of
I had a quick read of the report before I left.
2. a good read something that you enjoy reading:
I thought his last book was a really good read.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


read [read reads reading] verb noun   [riːd]    [riːd]  adjective   [riːd]    [riːd]    [red]    [red] 


verb   [riːd]  ;   [riːd]  (read, read   [red]  ;   [red]  

1. intransitive, transitive (not used in the progressive tenses) to look at and understand the meaning of written or printed words or symbols
She's still learning to read.
Some children can read and write before they go to school.
~ sth I can't read your writing.
• Can you read music?

• I'm trying to read the map.

2. intransitive, transitive to go through written or printed words, etc. in silence or speaking them to other people
I'm going to go to bed and read.
~ to sb/yourself He liked reading to his grandchildren.
~ sth to read a book/a magazine/the newspaper
Have you read any Steinbeck (= novels by him)?
He read the poem aloud.
~ sth to sb/yourself Go on— read it to us.
~ sb sth She read us a story.

see also  proofread  


3. intransitive, transitive (not used in the progressive tenses) to discover or find out about sb/sth by reading
~ about/of sth I read about the accident in the local paper.
~ that… I read that he had resigned.

~ sth Don't believe everything you read in the papers.  


4. transitive ~ sb's mind/thoughts to guess what sb else is thinking  

5. transitive ~ sb's lips to look at the movements of sb's lips to learn what they are saying

see also  lip-read  


6. transitive to understand sth in a particular way
Syn:  interpret
~ sth How do you read the present situation?

~ sth as sth Silence must not always be read as consent.  


7. transitive + speech to have sth written on it; to be written in a particular way
• The sign read ‘No admittance’.

• I've changed the last paragraph. It now reads as follows…

8. intransitive + adv./prep. to give a particular impression when read
• Generally, the article reads very well.

• The poem reads like (= sounds as if it is) a translation.  


9. transitive ~ sth (of measuring instruments) to show a particular weight, pressure, etc

• What does the thermometer read?

10. transitive ~ sth to get information from a measuring instrument

• A man came to read the gas meter.  


11. transitive ~ sb to hear and understand sb speaking on a radio set

• ‘Do you read me?’ ‘I'm reading you loud and clear.’  


12. transitive ~ A for B | ~ B as A to replace one word, etc. with another when correcting a text

• For ‘madam’ in line 3 read ‘madman’.  


13. transitive, intransitive (BrE, rather old-fashioned) to study a subject, especially at a university
~ sth I read English at Oxford.

~ for sth She's reading for a law degree.  


14. transitive (of a computer or the person using it) to take information from a disk
~ sth My computer can't read the CD-ROM you sent.
~ sth into sth to read a file into a computer
Word Origin:
Old English rǣdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raden and German raten ‘advise, guess’. Early senses included ‘advise’ and ‘interpret (a riddle or dream)’.  
read verb I, T
Just read through what you've written.
scanskimlook through sthflick through sthleaf through sthdip into sth|BrE plough through sth|AmE plow through sth|formal peruse
read/look through/flick through/leaf through/dip into/plough through/peruse a book
read/scan/skim/look through/flick through/leaf through/peruse a newspaper/paper
read/look through/plough through/peruse a report  
Example Bank:
He read her letter with interest.
He remembers everything he reads in books.
He speaks and reads Arabic fluently.
He's not someone who reads for pleasure.
Hogan had read about her death in the paper.
I had read of the case in the local newspaper.
I listen to my children reading aloud.
I read a story to my son every night.
I read through the first paragraph again.
I regularly read ‘Time’.
I've just read your interesting article.
Make sure you read the instructions correctly.
Most children can read by the age of seven.
Shall I read this out to you?
She had great difficulty learning to read and write.
She read avidly from an early age— books, magazines, anything.
She read from the letter.
She spent the morning reading over her script.
We teach students to read critically.
Could you read the poem aloud to us please?
Don't believe everything you read in the papers.
Have you read any Orwell?
He learned to read when he was three.
I read about it in today's paper.
I read that he'd resigned.
I read the words out loud.
I used to read to my younger brothers at bedtime.
I'm trying to read the map.
Just read through what you've written before you send it off.
She reads voraciously.
Some of the kids here can't even read and write.
What are you reading at the moment?
Will you read me a story?
Idioms: read between the lines  read my lips  read somebody like a book  read the Riot Act  take it as read

Derived: read on  read something back  read something into something  read something out  read something over  read something up  read up on somebody 


noun   [riːd]  ;   [riːd]  singular (informal)
1. (especially BrE) an act or a period of reading sth
• I was having a quiet read when the phone rang.

• Can I have a read of your newspaper when you've finished?

2. a good, interesting, etc. ~ a book, an article, etc. that is good, etc
His thrillers are always a gripping read.  
Word Origin:
Old English rǣdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raden and German raten ‘advise, guess’. Early senses included ‘advise’ and ‘interpret (a riddle or dream)’.  
Example Bank:
I know you'll enjoy the read.
• The program is simple to use after a quick read of the manual.

• The story made an interesting read.


adjective   [red]  ;   [red]  (used after an adverb) (of a person)
having knowledge that has been gained from reading books, etc
She's very widely read in law.
see also  well read  
Word Origin:

Old English rǣdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raden and German raten ‘advise, guess’. Early senses included ‘advise’ and ‘interpret (a riddle or dream)’.

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary


read (STATE) /riːd/
verb [L] read/red/
, read/red/

(of something written or printed) to have or give the stated information or meaning:
[+ speech] The start of the American Constitution reads 'We, the people of the United States...'
The thermometer is reading 40°C in the shade.

reading /ˈriː.dɪŋ/
noun [C]
a thermometer reading

read (STUDY) /riːd/
verb [I or T] read/red/
, read/red/
to study at university or to study for a specialized qualification:
They're both reading history at Cambridge.
LEGAL She's reading for the Bar (= studying to become a type of lawyer called a barrister).


read (UNDERSTAND) /riːd/
verb read/red/
, read/red/

1 [I or T] to obtain meaning by looking at words or symbols:
He spent a pleasant afternoon reading (the newspaper/a book).
I read about the family's success in the local paper.
It was too dark to read our map and we took a wrong turning.
Can you read music?
Your handwriting is so untidy I can't read it.
[+ (that)] I've read in the newspapers (that) there is a threat of war.
Put your plastic card in the slot, and the machine will read it and identify who you are.
Some children can read (= have learnt the skill of reading) by the age of four.

2 [I or T] to say the words that are printed or written:
She read (the poem) slowly and quietly.
[+ two objects] Their teacher always reads them a story at the end of the day.
Children love to have stories read (aloud/out) to them.

3 [T] to understand and give a particular meaning to written information, a statement, a situation, etc:
She missed the train because she read 18.30 as 8.30 p.m. instead of 6.30 p.m.
On page 19, for 'Blitish', please read 'British'.
If I've read the situation correctly, we should have some agreement on the contract by the end of the week.

4 [I or T] How you read a piece of writing, or how it reads, is how it seems when you read it:
The letter reads as if/US ALSO, UK NOT STANDARD like it was written in a hurry.
Her latest novel reads well (= is written in an attractive way).

5 [T] (especially when communicating by radio), to hear and understand someone:
Do you read me?
I read you loud and clear.

read /riːd/
noun [S] UK
the act of reading something:
It's not brilliant but it's worth a read.
The book is a good/easy etc. read.
INFORMAL Could I have a read of (= Could I read) your newspaper, if you've finished with it?

read /red/
It's a widely read newspaper (= it has many readers).

readable /ˈriː.də.bļ/
easy and enjoyable to read:
It is an excellent and highly readable account of the army today.

machine/computer-readable in a form which is able to be used by a computer:
Machine-readable passports will permit precise identity-checking.

reader /ˈriː.dəʳ/ US /-dɚ/
noun [C]
1 someone who reads for pleasure, especially a person who reads a lot:
He's a great/voracious reader (= reads many books).
She's an avid reader of historical novels.

2 a book designed and written for children who are learning to read

3 someone who reads a particular newspaper or magazine:
We asked our readers to write in and give us their views.
She described him as a typical Guardian reader.

4 SPECIALIZED a teacher, at British universities, just under the rank of professor:
Alan is a Reader in History at Dublin University.

5 SPECIALIZED a person whose job is to advise a publishing company on whether or not a book should be published

6 a device that helps you to read very small writing, or a machine that can recognize printed material:
a microfilm/microfiche reader
an optical character reader

readership /ˈriː.də.ʃɪp/ US /-dɚ-/
group noun [C]
the group of people who regularly read a particular newspaper, magazine, etc:
The magazine has a readership of over 250 000.
It's a newspaper with a large right-wing readership.

reading /ˈriː.dɪŋ/
1 [U] the skill or activity of getting information from books:
Reading and tennis are my favourite pastimes.
The diaries make good (bedtime) reading (= are good to read (in bed at night)).
These books are compulsory/required reading for students of architecture.

2 [C] an occasion when something written, especially a literary work, is spoken to an audience:
The society often arranges poetry readings and musical evenings.

3 [C] In a parliament, a reading of a new law is one of the stages of discussion before it is approved:
The Housing Bill was given its second reading in Parliament today.

4 [C] the way in which you understand something:
My reading of the situation is that John wanted any excuse to resign.

Collins Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


The form 'read' is pronounced /ri:d/ when it is the present tense, and /red/ when it is the past tense and past participle.

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

When you read something such as a book or article, you look at and understand the words that are written there.
Have you read this book?...
I read about it in the paper...
He read through the pages slowly and carefully...
It was nice to read that the Duke will not be sending his son off to boarding school...
She spends her days reading and watching television.
VERB: V n, V about n, V through n, V that, V

Read is also a noun.
I settled down to have a good read.

When you read a piece of writing to someone, you say the words aloud.
Jay reads poetry so beautifully...
I like it when she reads to us...
I sing to the boys or read them a story before tucking them in.
VERB: V n, V to n, V n n, also V n to n, V

People who can read have the ability to look at and understand written words.
He couldn’t read or write...
He could read words at 18 months.
VERB: V, V n

If you can read music, you have the ability to look at and understand the symbols that are used in written music to represent musical sounds.
Later on I learned how to read music.

When a computer reads a file or a document, it takes information from a disk or tape. (COMPUTING)
How can I read a Microsoft Excel file on a computer that only has Works installed?

You can use read when saying what is written on something or in something. For example, if a notice reads ‘Entrance’, the word ‘Entrance’ is written on it.
The sign on the bus read ‘Private: Not In Service’.
VERB: no cont, V with quote

If you refer to how a piece of writing reads, you are referring to its style.
The book reads like a ballad...
VERB: V prep/adv

If you say that a book or magazine is a good read, you mean that it is very enjoyable to read.
Ben Okri’s latest novel is a good read.
N-COUNT: adj N

If something is read in a particular way, it is understood or interpreted in that way.
The play is being widely read as an allegory of imperialist conquest...
South Africans were praying last night that he has read the situation correctly...
= interpret
VERB: be V-ed as n, V n adv/prep

If you read someone’s mind or thoughts, you know exactly what they are thinking without them telling you.
As if he could read her thoughts, Benny said, ‘You’re free to go any time you like.’

If you can read someone or you can read their gestures, you can understand what they are thinking or feeling by the way they behave or the things they say.
If you have to work in a team you must learn to read people...

If someone who is trying to talk to you with a radio transmitter says, ‘Do you read me?’, they are asking you if you can hear them.
We read you loud and clear. Over.

When you read a measuring device, you look at it to see what the figure or measurement on it is.
It is essential that you are able to read a thermometer.

If a measuring device reads a particular amount, it shows that amount.
The thermometer read 105 degrees Fahrenheit...
VERB: V amount

If you read a subject at university, you study it. (BRIT FORMAL; in AM, use major, study)
She read French and German at Cambridge University...
He is now reading for a maths degree at Surrey University.
VERB: V n, V for n

If you take something as read, you accept it as true or right and therefore feel that it does not need to be discussed or proved.
We took it as read that he must have been a KGB agent...
PHRASE: V inflects

to read between the lines: see line
see also reading

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

1read /ˈriːd/ verb reads; read /ˈrɛd/; read·ing /ˈriːdɪŋ/
1 a : to look at and understand the meaning of letters, words, symbols, etc.

[no obj]

• She learned to read at a very early age.

[+ obj]

• Can you read decimals/music/Braille?
• I can't read your handwriting.
• He claimed that he could read my palm. [=look at the lines on the palm of my hand and tell me what was going to happen to me in the future]
b : to read the words of (a book, magazine, etc.)

[+ obj]

• He likes reading the newspaper.
• She reads a lot of mystery novels.
• We will be reading (works by) Milton in the class.
• She starts work every day by reading her e-mail.
• Didn't you read the instructions?

[no obj]

• He likes to read.
• She doesn't read much.
• Please read from Chapter 5 through Chapter 10.
c : to speak aloud the words of (something written)

[+ obj]

• He read the poem aloud.
• The teacher read a story to us. = The teacher read us a story.
• He wrote down the address I gave him and read it back to me.

[no obj]

• Her mother read to her every night at bedtime.
- see also read out (below)
2 : to learn information about something from a book, newspaper, etc.

[no obj]

- often + about
• I read about the fire in the newspaper.
- sometimes + of
• I have read of such things happening elsewhere.

[+ obj]

- + that
• I read somewhere that he's making a new movie.
• I read that they got married.
3 [+ obj]
a : to learn information about (someone) by looking at how that person behaves
• I can't read her—I'm not sure if she likes me or not.
• You're an easy person to read.
b : to learn information about (something) by looking at particular characteristics
• A good canoeist can read the rapids.
• (golf) She missed the putt because she didn't read the green correctly.
• (American football) The quarterback read the defense correctly.
4 [+ obj] : to understand (something) in a particular way
• The way I read it, we're supposed to show up at 3 p.m.
• The situation is hard to read. [=interpret]
- often + as
• I read his actions as a cry for help.
5 [+ obj]
a : to show (words) for someone to read
• The sign reads [=says] “No Trespassing.”
b : to show (a temperature, weight, number, etc.)
• The thermometer reads 90 degrees.
• The clock read 4:30.
6 [no obj] : to be written in a particular way
• The definition reads awkwardly. [=the definition is awkwardly written]
• This essay will read better if you reorganize it.
• The speech reads well. [=the speech is written well]
• The first chapters read like a lecture.
7 [+ obj] : to get information from (something)
• Someone reads the water meter once a month.
• A scanner reads the bar codes on packages.
• The computer can't read that disk.
8 [+ obj] : to hear and understand (someone) over a radio
• Can you read me now?
• I read you loud and clear.
9 [+ obj] : to replace (a word or number) with another word or number - used to indicate how something written or said should be changed or corrected
• In the second problem, read 5 instead of 3. [=the number should be 5, not 3]
10 Brit : to study (a subject) especially at a university

[+ obj]

• He read history at Oxford.

[no obj]

- often + for
• She is reading for a business degree.
read between the lines : to look for or find a hidden meaning that is not directly stated or obvious in something that someone writes or says
• Her letter seemed pretty cheerful, but if you read between the lines, you can tell that she's not really happy.
read into [phrasal verb] read into (something) : to think of (something, such as a comment or situation) as having a meaning or importance that does not seem likely or reasonable
• You're reading too much into her remarks. [=her remarks do not have the meaning or importance that you think they have]
read lips : to understand what people are saying by watching the movement of their lips : lip-read
• deaf people who know how to read lips
• I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I was able to read his lips.
✦People who tell you to read their lips mean that you should pay close attention to what they are saying.
• “Can't I please go?” “Read my lips: you're not going, and that's final!”
read out [phrasal verb] read (something) out or read out (something) : to read (something) aloud especially to other people
• I read out the names on the list.
read over [phrasal verb] read over (something) or read (something) over : to read (something) from beginning to end especially to look for mistakes or check details
• He read over [=read through] the directions/contract carefully.
read (someone) like a book : to easily understand the true thoughts and feelings of (someone) by looking at how that person acts or behaves
• My mom always knows when I'm lying. She can read me like a book.
read someone's thoughts or read someone's mind : to know or guess what someone is thinking
• She looked deep into his eyes, trying to read his thoughts.
• “I think we should go out to a movie tonight.” “You read my mind. I was thinking the same thing.”
read (someone) the riot act
- see 1riot
read through [phrasal verb] read through (something) or read (something) through : to read (something) from beginning to end especially to look for mistakes or check details
• Remember to read through [=read over] the essay before you hand it in.
• He read the instructions through twice before he tried to assemble the bicycle.
read up on [phrasal verb] read up on (something) : to read a lot about (something) in order to learn about it
• I read up on the history of the war.
take (something) as read Brit : to accept or assume that something is true and does not need to be proved
• You can take it as read [=you can be sure] that there's nothing really new in their proposal.

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