- 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 for expressive on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for expressiveness
With fair skin boosting the expressiveness of her big blue eyes, Kazan resembles a slightly more cherub-faced Jennifer Connelly.Zoe Kazan Talks About Starring in ‘Ruby Sparks,’ Grandfather Elia Kazan, & More
July 26, 2012
Before I got fired I was gnawing at the edges of my expressiveness or my brazenness.Rick Sanchez Licks His Wounds
January 9, 2011
In expressing the idea, rational rigor and expressiveness collide.The Civilization of Illiteracy
Besides, she had her own opinion as to the expressiveness of slang.Blue Bonnet in Boston
Caroline E. Jacobs
Florid singing is not adapted to this form of expressiveness.The Psychology of Singing
David C. Taylor
But we call attention to the expressiveness with which these figures are delineated.The Prehistoric World
E. A. Allen
The hacendero shot a glance at his daughter full of expressiveness.The Tiger-Slayer
- 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 expressiveness
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.