Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “read”

read

verb (UNDERSTAND)    /riːd/ (read, read   /red/   )
A1 [I or T] to look at words or symbols and understand what they mean: 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 learned the skill of reading) by the age of four.Reading A2 [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.Reading C2 [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 p.m. 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.ReadingUnderstanding and comprehending [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 (also non-standard like) it was written in a hurry. Her latest novel reads well (= is written in an attractive way).Reading [T] (especially when communicating by radio), to hear and understand someone: Do you read me? I read you loud and clear.Understanding and comprehendingRadio read sb to sleep to read aloud to someone until they go to sleep: Every night when I was a child my father used to read me to sleep.Reading
(Definition of read verb (UNDERSTAND) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of read

Definitions of “read” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

friendship

a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More