read (v.)

Old English rædan (West Saxon), redan (Anglian) "to advise, counsel, persuade; discuss, deliberate; rule, guide; arrange, equip; forebode; read, explain; learn by reading; put in order" (related to ræd, red "advice"), from Proto-Germanic *redan (source also of Old Norse raða, Old Frisian reda, Dutch raden, Old High German ratan, German raten "to advise, counsel, guess"), from PIE root *re- "to reason, count." Words from this root in most modern Germanic languages still mean "counsel, advise" (compare rede). Connected to riddle (n.1) via notion of "interpret."

Sense of "make out the character of (a person)" is attested from 1610s. Transference to "understand the meaning of written symbols" is unique to Old English and (perhaps under English influence) Old Norse raða. Most languages use a word rooted in the idea of "gather up" as their word for "read" (such as French lire, from Latin legere). Read up "study" is from 1842; read out (v.) "expel by proclamation" (Society of Friends) is from 1788. read-only in computer jargon is recorded from 1961.

read (n.)

"an act of reading," 1825, from read (v.).

read (adj.)

1580s, "having knowledge gained from reading," in well-read, etc., past-participle adjective from read (v.).

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Definitions of read from WordNet
read (v.)
interpret something that is written or printed;
read the advertisement
Have you read Salman Rushdie?
read (v.)
have or contain a certain wording or form;
The passage reads as follows
Synonyms: say
read (v.)
look at, interpret, and say out loud something that is written or printed;
The King will read the proclamation at noon
read (v.)
obtain data from magnetic tapes or other digital sources;
This dictionary can be read by the computer
Synonyms: scan
read (v.)
interpret the significance of, as of palms, tea leaves, intestines, the sky; also of human behavior;
She read the sky and predicted rain
The fortune teller read his fate in the crystal ball
I can't read his strange behavior
read (v.)
interpret something in a certain way; convey a particular meaning or impression;
I read this address as a satire
Synonyms: take
read (v.)
be a student of a certain subject;
She is reading for the bar exam
Synonyms: learn / study / take
read (v.)
indicate a certain reading; of gauges and instruments;
The gauge read `empty'
Synonyms: register / show / record
read (v.)
audition for a stage role by reading parts of a role;
read (v.)
to hear and understand;
I read you loud and clear!
read (v.)
make sense of a language;
Can you read Greek?
read (n.)
something that is read;
the article was a very good read