read the room

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read the room (third-person singular simple present reads the room, present participle reading the room, simple past and past participle read the room)

  1. (idiomatic) To understand the emotions and thoughts of the people present, especially to determine the kind of speech or actions that would be appropriate or inappropriate.
    Synonym: read the table
    • 2024 May 9, Emma Roth, quoting Reed Morano, “Apple apologizes for iPad ‘Crush’ ad that ‘missed the mark’”, in The Verge[1]:
      The ad rubbed some creatives the wrong way. Hugh Grant called it a “destruction of human experience,” while Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano told Apple CEO Tim Cook to “read the room” in a post on X.


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