See more synonyms for expression on
  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.
  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 content1).
  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.
    1. the action of a gene in the production of a protein or a phenotype.
    2. expressivity(def 2).

Origin of expression

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin expressiōn- (stem of expressiō) a pressing out. See express, -ion
Related formsex·pres·sion·al, adjectiveex·pres·sion·less, adjectiveex·pres·sion·less·ly, adverbpre·ex·pres·sion, nounre·ex·pres·sion, nounsu·per·ex·pres·sion, noun

Synonyms for expression

See more synonyms for on
1. utterance, declaration, assertion, statement. 2. term, idiom. See phrase. 3. language, diction, phraseology. 5. manifestation, sign. 6. aspect, air. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for expression

Contemporary Examples of expression

Historical Examples of expression

British Dictionary definitions for expression


  1. the act or an instance of transforming ideas into words
  2. a manifestation of an emotion, feeling, etc, without wordstears are an expression of grief
  3. communication of emotion through music, painting, etc
  4. a look on the face that indicates mood or emotiona joyful expression
  5. the choice of words, phrases, syntax, intonation, etc, in communicating
  6. a particular phrase used conventionally to express somethinga dialect expression
  7. the act or process of forcing or squeezing out a liquid
  8. maths a variable, function, or some combination of constants, variables, or functions
  9. genetics the effect of a particular gene on the phenotype
Derived Formsexpressional, adjectiveexpressionless, adjectiveexpressionlessly, adverb
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 expression

early 15c., "action of pressing out;" later (mid-15c.) "action of manifesting a feeling;" (late 15c.) "a putting into words," from Middle French expression (14c.), from Late Latin expressionem (nominative expressio), noun of action from past participle stem of exprimere (see express (v.)). Meaning "an action or creation that expresses feelings" is from 1620s. Of the face, from 1774. Occasionally the word also was used literally, for "the action of squeezing out."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

expression in Medicine


  1. The act of pressing or squeezing out.
  2. The outward manifestation of a mood or disposition by mobility of the facial features; facies.
  3. The phenotype manifested by a genotype under fixed environmental conditions.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.