Dictionary: RE – READ

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RE, adv. [RE-.]

A prefix or inseparable particle in the composition of words, denotes return, repetition, iteration. It is contracted from red, which the Latins retained in words beginning with a vowel, as in redamo, redeo, redintegro; Ar. رَدَّ radda, to return, restore, bring back, repel, to answer. Class Rd, No. 1. From the Latin or the original Celtic, the Italians, Spanish and French have their re, ra, as prefixes. In a few English words, all or most of which, I believe, we receive from the French, it has lost its appropriate signification, as in rejoice, recommend, receive.

RE-AB-SORB', v.t. [re and absorb.]

  1. To draw in or imbibe again what has been effused, extravasated or thrown off; used of fluids; as, to reabsorb chyle, lymph, blood, gas, &c.
  2. To swallow up again.


Imbibed again.




The act or process of imbibing what has been previously thrown off, effused or extravasated; the swallowing a second time. – Lavoisier.

RE-AC-CESS', n. [re and access.]

A second access or approach; a visit renewed. – Hakewill.


  1. In a general sense, extension; a stretching; extent.
  2. The power of extending to, or of taking by the hand, or by any instrument managed by the hand. The book is not within my reach. The bottom of the sea is not within the reach of a line or cable.
  3. Power of attainment or management, or the limit of power, physical or moral. He used all the means within his reach. The causes of phenomena are often beyond the reach of human intellect. Be sure yourself and your own reach to know. – Pope.
  4. Effort of the mind in contrivance or research; contrivance; scheme. … Drawn by others who had deeper reaches than themselves to matters which they least intended. – Hayward.
  5. A fetch; an artifice to obtain an advantage. The Duke of Parma had particular reaches and ends of his own underhand, to cross the design. – Bacon.
  6. Tendency to distant consequences. Strain not my speech / To grosser issues, nor to larger reach / Than to suspicion. – Shak.
  7. Extent. And on the left hand, hell / With long reach interpos'd. – Milton.
  8. Among seamen, the distance between two points on the banks of a river, in which the current flows in a straight course. – Mar. Dict.
  9. An effort to vomit.

REACH, v.i.

  1. To be extended. The new world reaches quite across the torrid zone. – Doyle. The border shall descend, and shall reach to the side of the sea of Chinnereth eastward. – Num. xxxiv. And beheld, a ladder set on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. – Gen. xxviii.
  2. To penetrate. Ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth to heaven. – 2 Chron. xxviii.
  3. To make efforts to vomit. [See Retch.] – Cheyne. To reach after, to make efforts to attain to or obtain. He would be in a posture of mind, reaching after a positive idea of infinity. – Locke.

REACH, v.t. [Raught, the ancient preterit, is obsolete. The verb is now regular; pp. reached. Sax. racan, recan, ræcan, or hræcan; Goth. rakyan; Ir. righim, roichim; Dan. rekker; D. reiken, rekken; G. reichen, recken; Sw. räcka; Gr. ορεγω; It. recere, to reach, retch or vomit; L. rego, to rule or govern, to make right or straight, that is, to strain or stretch, the radical sense. The English sense of reach appears in L. porrigo and porricio. We find in the Shemitic languages, Ch. רנג, to desire, to long for, Syr. ܪܓ ragi, and ܐܪܓ aragi, to desire. This is the Greek ορεγω, to reach, to stretch, the radical sense of desiring. The latter Syriac word is the Hebrew ארג, to weave; but the primary sense is to stretch or strain. This verb in Arabic أرِجَ ariga, signifies to send forth a grateful smell, to breathe fragrance, the root of the L. fragro. But the primary sense is the same, to reach, to extend; to shoot forth. The same word in Ethiopic ረገዐ raga, San. rich'h, signifies to congeal or condense, to make stiff or rigid. This is the L. rigeo, Gr. ῥιγοω, and hence L. frigeo, whence frigid. This sense also is from stretching or drawing, making tense or rigid. The radical sense of רקע is the same, whence region, and the Heb. רקיע, the expanse of heaven or the firmament. The L. rogo has the same radical sense, to reach, to urge. See Class Rg, No. 1, 8, 15, 18, 21.]

  1. To extend; to stretch; in a general sense; sometimes followed by out and forth; as, to reach out the arm. Hence,
  2. To extend to; to touch by extending, either the arm, alone, or with an instrument in the hand; as, to reach a book on the shelf; I can not reach the object with my cane; the seaman reaches the bottom of the river with a pole or a line.
  3. To strike from a distance. O patron power, thy present aid afford, / That I may reach the beast. – Dryden.
  4. To deliver with the hand by extending the arm; to hand. He reached [to] me an orange. He reached me a full cup. – 2 Esdras.
  5. To extend or stretch from a distance. Reach hither thy finger … reach hither thy hand. – John xx.
  6. To arrive at; to come to. The ship reached her port in safety. We reached New York on Thursday. The letter reached me at seven o'clock.
  7. To attain to or arrive at, by effort, labor or study; hence, to gain or obtain. Every artist should attempt to reach the point of excellence. The best accounts of the appearances of nature which human penetration can reach, come short of its reality. – Cheyne.
  8. To penetrate to. Whatever alterations are made in the body, if they reach not the mind, there is no perception. – Locke.
  9. To extend to so as to include or comprehend in fact or principle. The law reached the intention of the promoters, and this act fixed the natural price of money. – Locke. If these examples of grown men reach not the case of children, let them examine. – Locke.
  10. To extend to. Thy desire leads to no excess that reaches blame. – Milton.
  11. To extend; to spread abroad. Trees reach'd too far their pamper'd boughs. – Milton.
  12. To take with the hand. Lest therefore now his bolder hand / Reach also of the tree of life and eat. [Unusual.] – Milton.
  13. To overreach; to deceive. – South.


Stretched out; extended; touched by extending the arm; attained to; obtained.


One that reaches or extends; one that delivers by extending the arm.


Stretching out; extending; touching by extension of the arm; attaining to; gaining; making efforts to vomit.

RE-ACT', v.i.

  1. To return an impulse or impression; to resist the action of another body by an opposite force. Every elastic body reacts on the body that impels it from its natural state.
  2. To act in opposition; to resist any influence or power.

RE-ACT', v.t. [re and act.]

To act or perform a second time; as, to react a play. The same scenes were netted at Rome.

RE-ACT'ED, pp.

Acted or performed a second time.

RE-ACT'ING, ppr.

Acting again; in physics, resisting the impulse of another body.


  1. In physics, counteraction; the resistance made by a body to the action or impulse of another body, which endeavors to change its state, either of motion or rest. Action and reaction are equal. – Newton. Arbuthnot.
  2. Any action in resisting other action or power.


Having power to react; tending to reaction.


By reaction.


The quality of being reactive.

READ, a. [red.]

Instructed or knowing by reading; versed in books; learned. Well read is the phrase commonly used; as, well read in history; well read in the classics. A poet well read in Longinus. – Addison.

READ, n. [Sax. ræd. See the verb.]

  1. Counsel. [Obs.] – Sternhold.
  2. Saying; sentence. [Obs.] – Spenser.

READ, pp. [red.]

  1. Uttered; pronounced, as written words in the roper order; as, the letter was read to the family.
  2. Silently perused.

READ, v.i.

  1. To perform the act of reading. So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense. – Neh. viii.
  2. To be studious; to practice much reading. It is sure that Fleury reads. – Taylor.
  3. To learn by reading. I hare read of an Eastern king who put a judge to death for an iniquitous sentence. – Swift.
  4. To tell; to declare. [Not in use.] – Spenser.

READ, v.t. [The preterit and pp. read, is pronounced red. Sax. ræd, rad, red, speech, discourse, counsel, advice, knowledge, benefit, reason; rædan, redan, to read, to decree, to appoint, to command, to rule or govern, to conjecture, to give or take counsel; arædan, to read, to tell, to narrate; gerædan, to read, to consult; gerad, mode, condition or state, reason, ratio or account, knowledge, instruction or learning, and as an adjective or participle, knowing, instructed, ready, suited; gerad beon, to be ready, to accord or agree; geradod, excited, quick. These significations unite this word with ready – which see. G. rede, speech, talk, account; reden, to speak; D. rede, speech; reden, reason; Dan. rede, account, and ready; G. bereden, to berate; rath, advice, counsel, a council or senate; rathen, to advise, to conjecture or guess, to solve a riddle; D. raad, counsel, advice; raaden, to counsel; Sw. råd, Dan. raad, counsel; råda, raader, to counsel, to instruct; W. rhaith, straight, right, that is, set right, decision, verdict; rheitheg, rhetoric, from rhaith; Dan. ret, law, justice, right, reason; Sw. rått, råtta, id.; Ir. radh, a saying; radham, to say, tell, relate; W. adrawz, to tell or rehearse; Gr. ῥεω, for ῥεθω, to say or tell, to flow; ῥητωρ, a speaker, a rhetorician; Goth. rodyan, to speak. The primary sense of read is to speak, to utter, that is, to push, drive or advance. This is also the primary sense of ready, that is, prompt or advancing quick. The Sax. gerad, ready, accords also in elements with the W. rhâd, L. gratia, the primary sense of which is prompt to favor, advancing towards, free. The elements of these words are the same as those of ride and L. gradior, &c. The sense of reason is secondary, that which is uttered, said or set forth; hence counsel also. The Sw. råtta, Dan. ret, if not contracted words, are from the same root. See Ready. Class Rd, No. 1, 3, 5, 9, 26.]

  1. To utter or pronounce written or printed words, letters or characters in the proper order; to repeat the names or utter the sounds customarily annexed to words, letters or characters, to read a written or printed discourse; to read the letters of an alphabet; to read figures; to read the notes of music, or to read music.
  2. To inspect and understand words or characters; to peruse silently as, to read a paper or letter without uttering the words; to read to one's self.
  3. To discover or understand by characters, marks or features; as, to read a man's thoughts in his countenance. To read the interior structure of the globe. – Journ. of Science. An armed corse did lie, / In whose dead face he read great magnanimity. – Spenser.
  4. To learn by observation. Those about her / From her shall read the perfect ways of honor. – Shak.
  5. To know fully. Who is't can read a woman? – Shak.
  6. To suppose to guess. [Obs.] – Spenser.
  7. To advise. [Obs.] – Spenser.