- full of expression; meaningful: an expressive shrug.
- serving to express; indicative of power to express: a look expressive of gratitude.
- of, relating to, or concerned with expression: Dance is a highly expressive art.
- Sociology. (of a crowd or group) engaging in nonpurposeful activity of an expressive and often rhythmic nature, as weeping, dancing, or shouting.Compare active(def 15), orgiastic(def 2).
- Linguistics. of or relating to forms in which sounds denote a semantic field directly and nonarbitrarily, through sound symbolism based, to some degree, on synesthesia, as observable in onomatopoeia, rhyming and gradational compounds, and emotionally charged words such as hypocoristics and pejoratives.
Origin of expressive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for expressive
The instrumental view of culture has it wrong, she argues, and should be replaced with what she calls an “expressive view.”The Insane Swedish Plan to Rate Games for Sexism
November 20, 2014
Robin Williams, as I knew him, was warm, gentle, expressive, nurturing, and brilliant.Mara Wilson Remembers Robin Williams: We're All His Goddamn Kids
August 18, 2014
With me, finding out how expressive people could be in music really saved me.La Roux Discusses New Album ‘Trouble in Paradise,’ the 5-Year Gap, and Embracing Her Androgyny
July 6, 2014
Bitcoin serves a purpose that is at once expressive and purposeful.Bitcoin Forever!
February 27, 2014
"It's kind of all our memories coming together in something that's expressive," Kate Mulleavy said.Star Wars Makes a Runway Cameo at Rodarte’s Fall/Winter 2014 Collection at New York Fashion Week
February 12, 2014
He was handsome and possessed a most intelligent and expressive countenance.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Sallie looked, and drew in her breath with a long, expressive "O-h!"Ester Ried Yet Speaking
I never shall forget her face, it was so expressive of despair.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
The language in question may be considered as expressive of self-dedication.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I
Francis Augustus Cox
He was interrupted by the low but expressive "hugh" of Uncas.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
- of, involving, or full of expression
- (postpositive foll by of) indicative or suggestive (of)a look expressive of love
- having a particular meaning, feeling, or force; significant
Word Origin and History for expressive
c.1400, "tending to press out," from French expressif, from expres "clear, plain," from stem of Latin exprimere (see express (v.)). Meaning "full of expression" is from 1680s. Related: Expressively; expressiveness.