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verb ad·dress \ə-ˈdres, a- also ˈa-ˌdres\

Simple Definition of address

  • : to write on an envelope, package, letter, etc., the name and address of the person or business it is being sent to

  • : to speak to (a person or group)

  • : to use a specified name or title when speaking or writing to (someone)

Full Definition of address

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic a :  direct, aim b :  to direct to go :  send

  3. 2 a :  to direct the efforts or attention of (oneself) <will address himself to the problem> b :  to deal with :  treat <intrigued by the chance to address important issues — I. L. Horowitz>

  4. 3 archaic :  to make ready; especially :  dress

  5. 4 a :  to communicate directly <addresses his thanks to his host> b :  to speak or write directly to; especially :  to deliver a formal speech to

  6. 5 a :  to mark directions for delivery on <address a letter> b :  to consign to the care of another (as an agent or factor)

  7. 6 :  to greet by a prescribed form

  8. 7 :  to adjust the club preparatory to hitting (a golf ball)

  9. 8 :  to identify (as a computer peripheral or memory location) by an address or a name for information transfer

  10. intransitive verb
  11. obsolete :  to direct one's speech or attentions

ad·dress·er noun

Examples of address

  1. I've addressed the letter, but it still needs a stamp.

  2. The package is sealed; it just needs to be addressed.

  3. We spent the afternoon addressing invitations to all our friends.

  4. The letter was returned because it had been addressed incorrectly.

  5. She ignored most of the people at the table, addressing only the man who was sitting next to her.

  6. One of the characters addresses the audience directly throughout the play.

  7. Most of the speaker's remarks were addressed to those with experience in the industry.

  8. Before the awards were given, the mayor addressed the crowd.

Origin of address

Middle English adressen, from Anglo-French adrescer, from a- (from Latin ad-) + drescer to direct, put right — more at dress

First Known Use: 14th century



noun ad·dress \ə-ˈdres, for 4 & 5 & 7 also ˈa-ˌdres\

Simple Definition of address

  • : the words and numbers that are used to describe the location of a building and that are written on letters, envelopes, and packages so that they can be mailed to that location

  • : the letters, numbers, and symbols that are used to direct an e-mail message or to show the location of a site on the Internet

  • : a formal speech

Full Definition of address

  1. 1 :  dutiful and courteous attention especially in courtship —usually used in plural

  2. 2 a :  readiness and capability for dealing (as with a person or problem) skillfully and smoothly :  adroitness b obsolete :  a making ready; also :  a state of preparedness

  3. 3 a :  manner of bearing oneself <a man of rude address> b :  manner of speaking or singing :  delivery

  4. 4 :  a formal communication; especially :  a prepared speech delivered to a special audience or on a special occasion

  5. 5 a :  a place where a person or organization may be communicated with b :  directions for delivery on the outside of an object (as a letter or package) c :  the designation of place of delivery placed between the heading and salutation on a business letter d :  the designation of a computer account from which one can send or receive e-mail

  6. 6 :  a preparatory position of the player and club in golf

  7. 7 a :  a location (as in the memory of a computer) where particular information is stored b :  a series of usually alphanumeric characters that specifies the storage location (as on a network or in a computer's memory) of particular information <an Internet address>

Examples of address

  1. Write your name, address, and phone number in the spaces provided.

  2. We listened to the President's inaugural address on the radio.

  3. She was asked to give a formal address at the ceremony.


First Known Use of address


Synonym Discussion of address

tact, address, poise, savoir faire mean skill and grace in dealing with others. tact implies delicate and considerate perception of what is appropriate <questions showing a lack of tact>. address stresses dexterity and grace in dealing with new and trying situations and may imply success in attaining one's ends <brought it off with remarkable address>. poise may imply both tact and address but stresses self-possession and ease in meeting difficult situations <answered the accusations with unruffled poise>. savoir faire is likely to stress worldly experience and a sure awareness of what is proper or expedient <the savoir faire of a seasoned traveler>.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up address? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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