read the room

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read the room

To use one's intuition to analyze the general mood of the people in a particular setting and act accordingly. Often used as an imperative. I'll read the room and see if it's the right time to have the conversation. If people already seem on edge, I'll probably wait to bring it up. Read the room, James. No one here is interested in talking politics right now.
See also: read, room
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Set-up is simple, and HomePod's smart spatial awareness, in which it actually reads the room using internal microphone and maximises its output to match the physical conditions, means the audio is considerably better - more expansive and immersive - than it is with one HomePod.
By accident or by design, Markle's wardrobe perfectly reads the room.
He reads the room and knows what will work, is a regular Post get two Call the 872000.