• IPA: /ˈʌn.ɹɛd/ (adjective)

unread (not comparable)

  1. Not having been read.
    • 1700, Charles Hopkins (poet), The Art of Love, (after Ovid’s Ars Amatoria), London: Joseph Wild, “The Muse,” p. 36,
      At first, perhaps, unread your Note’s return’d,
      Your Person slighted, and your Passion scorn’d.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, London: Longmans, Green & Co., “Remarkable Incident of Doctor Lanyon,” pp. 59-60,
      ‘PRIVATE: for the hands of J. G. Utterson ALONE and in case of his predecease to be destroyed unread,’ so it was emphatically superscribed; and the lawyer dreaded to behold the contents.
    The book I got for my 18th birthday remained unread until my retirement.
  2. Not having read; uneducated.
    • c. 1601, William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, Act I, Scene 3,
      In fortune’s love […] the bold and coward,
      The wise and fool, the artist and unread,
      The hard and soft seem all affined and kin:
      But, in the wind and tempest of her frown,
      Distinction, with a broad and powerful fan,
      Puffing at all, winnows the light away;
    • 1796, Elizabeth Inchbald, Nature and Art, Dublin: P. Wogan et al., Chapter 22, p. 111,
      The only child of two doating parents, she never had been taught the necessity of resignation—untutored, unread, unused to reflect, but knowing how to feel […]
    • 1890, Frances Willard (suffragist), Address before the Seventeenth Convention of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union at Atlanta, Georgia, in William Jennings Bryan (editor), The World’s Famous Orations, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1906, Volume 10, p. 162,
      […] only those unread in the biography of genius imagine themselves to be original.

unread (unreads, present participle unreading; past and past participle unread)

  1. (transitive) To undo the process of reading.
    That book was terrible! I wish I could unread it.
  2. (computing, transitive) To flag (a previously read e-mail or similar message) as not having been read.

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