Definition of read verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//riːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//riːd//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they read
    BrE BrE//riːd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//riːd//
    he / she / it reads
    BrE BrE//riːdz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//riːdz//
    past simple read
    BrE BrE//red//
    ; NAmE NAmE//red//
    past participle read
    BrE BrE//red//
    ; NAmE NAmE//red//
    -ing form reading
    BrE BrE//ˈriːdɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈriːdɪŋ//
    Exams and degrees, Study routes
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  1. 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. read something I can't read your writing. Can you read music? I'm trying to read the map.
  2. 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. read to somebody/yourself He liked reading to his grandchildren. read something to read a book/a magazine/the newspaper Have you read any Steinbeck (= novels by him)? He read the poem aloud. read something to somebody/yourself Go on—read it to us. read somebody something She read us a story. see also proofread
  3. discover by reading
  4. 3  [intransitive, transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to discover or find out about somebody/something by reading read about/of something I read about the accident in the local paper. read that… I read that he had resigned. read something Don't believe everything you read in the papers.
  5. somebody’s mind/thoughts
  6. 4[transitive] read somebody’s mind/thoughts to guess what somebody else is thinking
  7. somebody’s lips
  8. 5[transitive] read somebody’s lips to look at the movements of somebody’s lips to learn what they are saying see also lip-read
  9. understand
  10. 6[transitive] to understand something in a particular way synonym interpret read something How do you read the present situation? read something as something Silence must not always be read as consent.
  11. of a piece of writing
  12. 7[transitive] + speech to have something 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…
  13. 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.
  14. measuring instrument
  15. 9[transitive] read something (of measuring instruments) to show a particular weight, pressure, etc. What does the thermometer read?
  16. 10[transitive] read something to get information from a measuring instrument A man came to read the gas meter.
  17. hear
  18. 11[transitive] read somebody to hear and understand somebody speaking on a radio set ‘Do you read me?’ ‘I'm reading you loud and clear.’
  19. replace word
  20. 12[transitive] read A for B | read B as A to replace one word, etc. with another when correcting a text For ‘madam’ in line 3 read ‘madman’.
  21. subject at university
  22. 13[transitive, intransitive] (British English, rather old-fashioned) to study a subject, especially at a university read something I read English at Oxford. read for something She's reading for a law degree. See related entries: Exams and degrees, Study routes
  23. computing
  24. 14 [transitive] (of a computer or the person using it) to take information from a disk read something My computer can't read the CD-ROM you sent. read something into something to read a file into a computer More Like This Verbs with two objects bet, bring, build, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, post, promise, read, refuse, sell, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw, wish, writeSee worksheet.
  25. Word OriginOld English rǣdan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch raden and German raten ‘advise, guess’. Early senses included ‘advise’ and ‘interpret (a riddle or dream)’.Extra examples 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 to look for or discover a meaning in something that is not openly stated Reading between the lines, I think Clare needs money.
    read somebody like a book
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    to understand easily what somebody is thinking or feeling
    (informal) used to tell somebody to listen carefully to what you are saying Read my lips: no new taxes (= I promise there will be no new taxes).
    read (somebody) the Riot Act
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    (British English) to tell somebody with force that they must not do something From an Act of Parliament passed in 1715 to prevent riots. It made it illegal for a group of twelve or more people to refuse to split up if they were ordered to do so and part of the Act was read to them.
    take it/something as read
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    (British English) to accept something without discussing it Can we take it as read that you want the job?
    Phrasal Verbsread somethingbackread something into somethingread onread somethingoutread over somethingread somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: read