ad·​dress | \ ə-ˈdres How to pronounce address (audio) , a- also ˈa-ˌdres \
addressed; addressing; addresses

Definition of address

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to mark directions for delivery on address a letter
b : to consign to the care of another (such as an agent or factor)
2a : 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
3a : to communicate directly addresses his thanks to his host
b : to speak or write directly to especially : to deliver a formal speech to The president will address the nation by television.
4 : to greet by a prescribed form how to address an archbishop
5 golf : to adjust the club and one's stance preparatory to hitting (the ball)
6 : to identify (something, such as a computer peripheral or memory location) by an address or a name for information transfer
7 archaic
a : direct, aim
b : to direct to go : send
8 archaic : to make ready especially : dress

intransitive verb

obsolete : to direct one's speech or attentions


ad·​dress | \ ə-ˈdres How to pronounce address (audio) , for senses 1, 2, & 3 also ˈa-ˌdres \

Definition of address (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a place where a person or organization may be communicated with asked for her name, address, and phone number
b : directions for delivery on the outside of an object (such as a letter or package) an envelope with an illegible address
c : the designation of place of delivery placed between the heading and salutation on a business letter
d : the designation of an account from which one can send or receive email an email address
2a : 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 A unique number called an IP address identifies every computer that's connected to the Internet. An IP address looks something like this: Each of the four parts of an IP address can have from one to three digits.— Kim Komando
3 : a formal communication especially : a prepared speech delivered to a special audience or on a special occasion Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
4 : dutiful and courteous attention especially in courtship usually used in plural She spurned his addresses."Here is a young man wishing to pay his addresses to you, with everything to recommend him."— Jane Austen
5a : 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
6a : manner of bearing oneself a man of rude address
b : manner of speaking or singing : delivery was pleased with the tenor's ease of address
7 golf : the stance of the player and the position of the club preparatory to hitting the ball

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from address


addresser noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of address in a Sentence

Verb I've addressed the letter, but it still needs a stamp. The package is sealed; it just needs to be addressed. We spent the afternoon addressing invitations to all our friends. The letter was returned because it had been addressed incorrectly. She ignored most of the people at the table, addressing only the man who was sitting next to her. One of the characters addresses the audience directly throughout the play. Most of the speaker's remarks were addressed to those with experience in the industry. Before the awards were given, the mayor addressed the crowd. Noun Write your name, address, and phone number in the spaces provided. We listened to the President's inaugural address on the radio. She was asked to give a formal address at the ceremony.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Grandma Lee chose to address the Ramseyer situation directly. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "Seeking the True Story of the Comfort Women," 26 Feb. 2021 When asked about the petition, Salonikas said the district’s first step after a crisis is to address the needs of students and provide emotional support. Kaitlin Edquist,, "The death of a Northbrook teenager has focused a shattered community’s attention on mental health," 25 Feb. 2021 While the bill would remove barriers temporarily, the city is working to create similar solutions to address long-term needs. oregonlive, "Bill could lower barriers, allow formation of new homeless shelter beds across Oregon," 24 Feb. 2021 Jewish communities, like others across the state, are taking steps to address their own needs. Andrew Lapin,, "In Texas, Jewish communities join a desperately needed response," 23 Feb. 2021 Rodriquez has been very helpful in the past to address needs for nonprofits, Woods said. Eplunus Colvin, Arkansas Online, "Community pulls together to get water to women's shelter in need," 22 Feb. 2021 There’s no way the Steelers can re-sign their prime pending free agents and address other needs with that massive figure weighing them down. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Despite noncommittal tone, Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves at Ben Roethlisberger's mercy," 22 Feb. 2021 This new law provides access to services that address the full range of people’s needs, whether that be treatment, housing, employment, or other resources. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New Oregon law decriminalizing drugs seen as a step in the right direction by advocates of reform," 21 Feb. 2021 One individual, however, is determined to address the unique needs of this community. Patrice Peck,, "These 7 Black Women Are the Unsung Heroes of the COVID Pandemic," 19 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Note that many of these stores will require you to confirm your student status through third-party sites, like ID.Me, or ask you to enter your university e-mail address. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "Hulu, Amazon and more things to save on with a student discount," 26 Feb. 2021 The chief judge’s office has also considered holding trials at McCormick Place or the Thompson Center, Evans said in an address to Cook County officials late last month. Megan Crepeau,, "Cook County set to resume jury trials as first notices are sent out since pandemic closures," 23 Feb. 2021 In the address, Biden reasserted that his administration is pausing Trump-era troop withdrawals from Germany and lifting the cap on the number of U.S. forces that can be based in Germany. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Biden tells European allies ‘America is back,’ seeks to turn page on Trump era," 20 Feb. 2021 Some may not even be able to remember their email address, let alone know how to refresh their web browser frequently enough to land a spot. New York Times, "Primary Care Doctors Are Left Out of the Vaccine Rollout," 10 Feb. 2021 In an address on Monday afternoon, Joe Biden offered a bleak preview of winter. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Importance of Brutal Honesty in This Pandemic Winter," 31 Dec. 2020 In previous years, the governor’s annual address has been held in the House chamber, but legislators approved a location change this year to enable social distancing. Vivian Jones, Washington Examiner, "Lee presents nearly $42B budget in State of the State address," 9 Feb. 2021 The map can predict snowfall totals for the next 48 hours for any address, to a radius of about 2 miles. Jane Morice |, cleveland, "OH weather: Lake effect snow begins to fall Sunday; find out how much you may get," 8 Feb. 2021 Ditlevsen wastes no time in asking for Møller’s address and sending him some poems. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "Tove Ditlevsen’s Art of Estrangement," 8 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'address.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of address


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3a


1539, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for address


Middle English adressen "to guide, direct, set in order, mark with a destination," borrowed from Anglo-French adrescer, adresser "to make straight, direct, guide," from a- (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + drescer, dresser "to direct, put right" — more at dress entry 1


in part derivative of address entry 1, in part borrowed from Middle French adresce, adresse, noun derivative of adrescer, adresser

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about address

Time Traveler for address

Time Traveler

The first known use of address was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for address

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Address.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for address



English Language Learners Definition of address

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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)



English Language Learners Definition of address (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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


ad·​dress | \ ə-ˈdres How to pronounce address (audio) \
addressed; addressing

Kids Definition of address

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to put directions for delivery on address a letter
2 : to speak or write to Bleakly, Roy looked up to address the grownups.— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
3 : to use a specified name or title when speaking or writing to (someone) The children address me as “sir.”
4 : to deal with : give attention to address a problem


ad·​dress | \ ə-ˈdres How to pronounce address (audio) , ˈa-ˌdres \

Kids Definition of address (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the place where a person can usually be reached a business address
2 : the directions for delivery placed on mail
3 : the symbols (as numerals or letters) that identify the location where particular information (as a home page) is stored on a computer especially on the Internet
4 : a formal speech The president will give an address at the ceremony.
5 : the name of a computer account from which e-mail can be sent or received

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on address

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!