Definition of read between the lines in English:

read between the lines


  • Look for or discover a meaning that is implied rather than explicitly stated.

    ‘reading between the lines, I think Clare needs money’
    • ‘However, reading between the lines, one can discover criticism of army doctors and the army authorities in general, who above all wanted to maintain discipline and return soldiers to the battlefield.’
    • ‘I just assumed readers would read between the lines.’
    • ‘Under Stalin, and after, Soviet newspapers tended to exhort rather than inform, but perceptive readers could read between the lines.’
    • ‘But increasingly we prisoners of war sensed, from our captors' demeanor and reading between the lines of propaganda broadcasts, a sinister force surfacing.’
    • ‘Even so, one must read between the lines to discover the full impact on her of the long joyless union with Thomas.’
    • ‘Instead, managers must learn to read between the lines or interpret subtle hints that a problem has developed.’
    • ‘He does not have to say what he means literally - he reads between the lines and so should you!’
    • ‘Her entry into undergraduate life hasn't been entirely easy; my reading between the lines of her anecdotes suggests one or two of her lecturers haven't responded well to the polite but complex questions she asks in class.’
    • ‘One rather gathers, reading between the lines, that he dismissed Piggy as a fool.’
    • ‘The interpreter reads between the lines of total and, partial knowledge, ever open to deeper understanding as it unfurls between them.’
    infer from, interpolate from, assume from, attribute to
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