Definition of read between the lines in English:

read between the lines


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

    • ‘One rather gathers, reading between the lines, that he dismissed Piggy as a fool.’
    • ‘But increasingly we prisoners of war sensed, from our captors' demeanor and reading between the lines of propaganda broadcasts, a sinister force surfacing.’
    • ‘He does not have to say what he means literally - he reads between the lines and so should you!’
    • ‘Even so, one must read between the lines to discover the full impact on her of the long joyless union with Thomas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Under Stalin, and after, Soviet newspapers tended to exhort rather than inform, but perceptive readers could read between the lines.’
    • ‘The interpreter reads between the lines of total and, partial knowledge, ever open to deeper understanding as it unfurls between them.’
    • ‘Instead, managers must learn to read between the lines or interpret subtle hints that a problem has developed.’
    • ‘I just assumed readers would read between the lines.’
    • ‘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.’
    infer from, interpolate from, assume from, attribute to
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