Origin of express

1275–1325; Middle English expressen < Latin expressus (past participle of exprimere). See ex-1, press1
Related formsex·press·er, ex·pres·sor, nounex·press·i·ble, adjectiveex·press·less, adjectiveo·ver·ex·press, verb (used with object)pre·ex·press, verb (used with object)qua·si-ex·pressed, adjectivere·ex·press, verb (used with object)su·per·ex·press, nounun·ex·press·i·ble, adjectivewell-ex·pressed, adjective

Synonyms for express

Antonyms for express

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expressing

Contemporary Examples of expressing

Historical Examples of expressing

  • In "Lear," Shakespeare was intent on expressing his own disillusion and naked misery.

  • Hinde gaped at him, incapable of expressing himself with sufficient force.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Unused to expressing herself in public, she seemed to be feeling her way.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Is it necessary that I should defend myself for expressing my displeasure?

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • She has been expressing her anxiety that you should return in time.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for expressing


verb (tr)

to transform (ideas) into words; utter; verbalize
to show or reveal; indicatetears express grief
to communicate (emotion, etc) without words, as through music, painting, etc
to indicate through a symbol, formula, etc
to force or squeeze outto express the juice from an orange
to send by rapid transport or special messenger
express oneself to communicate one's thoughts or ideas

adjective (prenominal)

clearly indicated or shown; explicitly statedan express wish
done or planned for a definite reason or goal; particularan express purpose
of, concerned with, or designed for rapid transportation of people, merchandise, mail, money, etcexpress delivery; an express depot


  1. a system for sending merchandise, mail, money, etc, rapidly
  2. merchandise, mail, etc, conveyed by such a system
  3. mainly US and Canadianan enterprise operating such a system
Also called: express train a fast train stopping at none or only a few of the intermediate stations between its two termini


by means of a special delivery or express deliveryit went express
Derived Formsexpresser, nounexpressible, adjective

Word Origin for express

C14: from Latin expressus, literally: squeezed out, hence, prominent, from exprimere to force out, from ex- 1 + premere to press
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for expressing



late 14c., from Old French espresser "press, squeeze out; speak one's mind" (Modern French exprimer), Medieval Latin expressare, frequentative of exprimere "represent, describe," literally "to press out" (source of Italian espresso; the sense evolution here is perhaps via an intermediary sense of something like "clay that takes under pressure takes the form of an image"), from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pressare "to press, push," from Latin premere (see press (v.1)). Related: Expressed; expresses; expressing.



late 14c., from Old French expres, from Latin expressus "clearly presented," past participle of exprimere (see express (v.)). This led to the noun (first attested 1610s) meaning "special messenger." Sense of "business or system for sending money or parcels" is 1794. An express train (1841) originally ran to a certain station.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for expressing




To press or squeeze out.
To produce a phenotype. Used of a gene.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.