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[ik-spresh-uhn] Show IPA


1. the act of expressing or setting forth in words: the free expression of political opinions.

2. a particular word, phrase, or form of words: old-fashioned expressions.

3. the manner or form in which a thing is expressed in words; wording; phrasing: delicacy of expression.

4. the power of expressing in words: "joy beyond expression".

5. indication of feeling, spirit, character, etc., as on the face, in the voice, or in artistic execution: the lyric expression embodied in his poetry.

For lessons on the topic of Expression, follow this link.

6. a look or intonation expressing personal reaction, feeling, etc.: a shocked expression.

7. the quality or power of expressing an attitude, emotion, etc.: a face that lacks expression; to read with expression.

8. the act of expressing or representing, as by symbols.

9. Mathematics. a symbol or a combination of symbols representing a value, relation, or the like.

10. Linguistics. the stylistic characteristics of an utterance (opposed to meaning ).

11. Linguistics. the system of verbal utterances specific to a language (opposed to content ).

12. the act of expressing or pressing out.

13. Computers. a combination of variables, constants, and functions linked by operation symbols and any required punctuation that describe a rule for calculating a value.

14. Genetics. a. the action of a gene in the production of a protein or a phenotype.

b. expressivity (def. 2).


1425–75; late ME < L expressiōn- (s. of expressiō) a pressing out. See express, -ion

Related forms

ex⋅pres⋅sion⋅al, adjective

ex⋅pres⋅sion⋅less, adjective

ex⋅pres⋅sion⋅less⋅ly, adverb


1. utterance, declaration, assertion, statement.

2. term, idiom. See phrase.

3. language, diction, phraseology.

4. manifestation, sign.

5. aspect, air.


The spirit of religion is eternal, but the form of its expression must be restated every time the dictionary of human language is revised.[1]