View synonyms for expression


[ ik-spresh-uhn ]


  1. the act of expressing or setting forth in words:

    the free expression of political opinions.

    Synonyms: statement, assertion, declaration, utterance

  2. a particular word, phrase, or form of words:

    old-fashioned expressions.

    Synonyms: idiom, term

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

    delicacy of expression.

    Synonyms: phraseology, diction, language

  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.

    Synonyms: sign, manifestation

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

    a shocked expression.

    Synonyms: air, aspect

  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 ( meaning ).
  11. Linguistics. the system of verbal utterances specific to a language ( content 1 ).
  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.


/ ɪkˈsprɛʃən /


  1. the act or an instance of transforming ideas into words
  2. a manifestation of an emotion, feeling, etc, without words

    tears are an expression of grief

  3. communication of emotion through music, painting, etc
  4. a look on the face that indicates mood or emotion

    a joyful expression

  5. the choice of words, phrases, syntax, intonation, etc, in communicating
  6. a particular phrase used conventionally to express something

    a 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

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • exˈpressionless, adjective
  • exˈpressional, adjective
  • exˈpressionlessly, adverb

Discover More

Other Words From

  • ex·pression·al adjective
  • ex·pression·less adjective
  • ex·pression·less·ly adverb
  • preex·pression noun
  • reex·pression noun
  • super·ex·pression noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of expression1

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Latin expressiōn- (stem of expressiō ) “a pressing out.” See express, -ion

Discover More

Synonym Study

See phrase.

Discover More

Example Sentences

You can admire the ambition, but in the end, the feeling is of art as an expression of imperialism.

Children might try tracking a speaker’s lips, watching a speaker’s facial expressions, or following where a speaker is looking.

Online communities that frame themselves as refuges for free expression often find themselves pulled to the fringes, forcing members to either confront the shift or tolerate increasingly radical ideas.

Humans evolved to survive by communicating and responding to cues, down to minuscule shifts in tone and expression.

While the expression “cold hands, warm heart” is considered a compliment, we prefer to have a warm heart and warm hands.

It was also an attack on our freedom of expression and way of life.

“Tu eres como chuleria en pote,” goes the Puerto Rican expression that gave rise to his moniker.

Instead, he is cruelly jailed solely for the peaceful expression of his beliefs.

We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.

However the expression on his face offered some explanation.

It is most peculiar, and when he plays that way, the most bewitching little expression comes over his face.

Of course the expression of this value is modified and characterized by the nature of the thing spoken of.

All elements of expression modify each other, so that no mere rule can cover all cases.

At the mention of the Merrill Horse, Poindexter's countenance took on a demoniac expression.

Various impulses urged him into a pouring flood of words; yet he gave expression to none of them.


Word of the Day



Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.




express deliveryExpressionism