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

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for expressionless

Contemporary Examples of expressionless

  • At the time Milke entered death row, she was 26 years old,  tall and slender with expressionless blue eyes and permed brown hair.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Death Row Debbie Milke Could Soon Be Free

    Terry Greene Sterling

    May 26, 2013

  • One group known as Total Black was particularly ominous, dressed in all black with only their expressionless faces exposed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Anarchists Hijack Rome Protests

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    October 15, 2011

  • In photographs, he says, she sports one of those “blank, expressionless faces” that lack variety and emotion.

    The Daily Beast logo
    A Book About Boredom Is Anything But

    Jeremy Axelrod

    June 20, 2011

  • Little Hossein was pale and his eyes looked glassy and expressionless.

    The Daily Beast logo
    When Everything Changed

    Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

    March 11, 2011

Historical Examples of expressionless

  • "Yes, do," answered White, with an expressionless countenance.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • His tone was so even, so expressionless, that its slightest changes were noticeable.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

  • His eyes seemed very large and bright, but empty, expressionless.

  • Those eyes were expressionless because there was nothing to give them expression.

  • Her face was expressionless, but he knew that she was laughing at him.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

British Dictionary definitions for expressionless



the act or an instance of transforming ideas into words
a manifestation of an emotion, feeling, etc, without wordstears are an expression of grief
communication of emotion through music, painting, etc
a look on the face that indicates mood or emotiona joyful expression
the choice of words, phrases, syntax, intonation, etc, in communicating
a particular phrase used conventionally to express somethinga dialect expression
the act or process of forcing or squeezing out a liquid
maths a variable, function, or some combination of constants, variables, or functions
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 expressionless

1831, from expression + -less.



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

expressionless in Medicine




The act of pressing or squeezing out.
The outward manifestation of a mood or disposition by mobility of the facial features; facies.
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.