read between the lines


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read between the lines

To infer or understand the real or hidden meaning behind the superficial appearance of something. "Lines" refers to lines of text on a printed page. He gave a very diplomatic explanation, but if you read between the lines, it seems like he was fired for political reasons. Reading between the lines, it looks the like the company is bracing for a hostile takeover.
See also: between, line, read

read between the lines

Fig. to infer something (from something else); to try to understand what is meant by something that is not written explicitly or openly. After listening to what she said, if you read between the lines, you can begin to see what she really means. Don't believe every thing you read literally. Learn to read between the lines.
See also: between, line, read

read between the lines

Perceive or detect a hidden meaning, as in They say that everything's fine, but reading between the lines I suspect they have some marital problems . This term comes from cryptography, where in one code reading every second line of a message gives a different meaning from that of the entire text. [Mid-1800s]
See also: between, line, read

read between the lines

COMMON If you read between the lines, you understand what someone really means, or what is really happening in a situation, even though it is not stated openly. He was reluctant to go into details, but reading between the lines it appears that he was forced to leave. Note: You can also talk about the message between the lines. He didn't give a reason, but I sensed something between the lines. He was forced to confess to the crime, but he tried to send a message between the lines at his trial.
See also: between, line, read

read between the lines

look for or discover a meaning that is hidden or implied rather than explicitly stated.
1994 American Spectator Those familiar with the virulent animosity in this element of black racism can read between the lines to get a fuller picture.
See also: between, line, read

ˌread between the ˈlines

find or look for a hidden or extra meaning in something a person says or writes, usually their real feelings about something: Reading between the lines, it was obvious that he was feeling lonely.
See also: between, line, read

read between the lines

To perceive or detect an obscure or unexpressed meaning: learned to read between the lines of corporate annual reports to discern areas of fiscal weakness.
See also: between, line, read

read between the lines, to

To deduce hidden meanings from what is actually said and written. The term comes from cryptography, in which one kind of code actually presents a message on every second line, with a quite different sense imparted if one reads the intervening lines as well. The term began to be used figuratively in the mid-nineteenth century. James Martineau wrote (Essays Philosophical and Theological, 1866), “No writer was ever more read between the lines.”
See also: between, read

read between the lines

Infer an unexpressed meaning. An early method of transmitting written coded messages was to write the secret information in invisible ink between the lines of a document. The recipient would then learn the information by reading between the lines. The phrase came to mean gaining an insight in the context of reading something into another person's words or behavior—and often both. For example, you, your spouse, and teenage son are invited to a family gathering. Your son's reaction when he heard the news was to stare at the floor and mutter, “Well, okay if I gotta.” Reading between the lines, you'd say that he's not crazy about going.
See also: between, line, read
References in periodicals archive ?
Americans who understand the media cartel agenda, and who also understand the cartel's propaganda tactics, will be much better able to "read between the lines" and avoid being deceived themselves.
This was a direct challenge to the assumption that truth can be read between the lines, and an implicit riposte to the argument that art can have a political effect.
If we read between the lines, the benefits that would be gained from building such a project are not all that obvious.
"The historical figures who were known to be gay weren't much comfort either, You couldn't glean who they were as political and social entities through their sexuality, It was hinted at, but you had to read between the lines, And reading between the lines is discouraging.
But I could read between the lines in February when Glenn told me he was concerned about my match fitness.
Compare Sam's and Hank's fear that if they stop working they'll dissipate with Carducci's attack on early-'80s Brit-pop's "anti-American, anti-macho, anti-work aesthete[s]," for whom "the very strength of the rock esthetic had become something to debase." Read between the lines and Carducci comes close to diagnosing rock as the prime symptom of a late-20th-century crisis of American masculinity: music as the agonistics of young men looking for somewhere to direct their surplus energy, now that it's not needed for manual labor or warfare.
we have our own ethics"), it's hard not to think Coward was expecting certain members of the audience to read between the lines.