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 e-mail an e-mail 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 pluralShe 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Grateful for another and the opportunity to begin again in love to address our differences and mend our relationships. The Enquirer, "Much to be thankful for. A few prayers of thanksgiving to remind us of that.," 26 Nov. 2020 Mark Wilbert, Charleston’s chief resilience officer, said the city needs to do something to address current flooding and plan for the future. Michelle Liu, The Christian Science Monitor, "Should Charleston wall itself off from rising sea levels?," 23 Nov. 2020 Several prominent community leaders have joined together to address the state’s high COVID-19 rates and overwhelmed health care system. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Sports paused, sorority party canceled, curfews eyed: News from around our 50 states," 19 Nov. 2020 Funding towards the Transwellness Program to address social determinants of health and support the unique needs of the trans and gender diverse community in Lakewood and surrounding communities. Alexis Oatman, cleveland, "Three Arches Foundation awards 20 Northeast Ohio Nonprofits over $1.5 million," 18 Nov. 2020 The funding for the state’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee followed reporting from Reckon and highlighting the state’s failure to address maternal death and lobbying by nonprofit and state medical organizations. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "Nearly 70% of Alabama’s maternal deaths could have been prevented," 18 Nov. 2020 The Distinguished Performer awards recognize how companies successfully address challenges around local and global competition and stay accountable to their communities and employees. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Deloitte ranks Wisconsin's 75 largest privately and closely held companies," 15 Nov. 2020 Ochsner also plans to increase digital tools and telehealth to provide ongoing care, particularly to address maternal morbidity and mortality and low birthweight in the state. Emily Woodruff,, "Ochsner to spend $100M on clinics aimed at improving Louisiana's dismal health ranking," 13 Nov. 2020 Even once his replacement moved into the municipal palace, Miranda remained in contact with local officials, dialing in at all hours to inaugurate new streets, address his cabinet, and rally his supporters. Washington Post, "With its leader in jail, this city cowered to his will," 12 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The online thief also changed the address on the account so that the faucet would be sent to South Euclid. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Woman sets dumpster on fire to get rid of snakes: Westlake Police Blotter," 28 Nov. 2020 Su's was the shortest policy address in Taiwanese history, according to Taiwan's United Daily News. Washington Post, "Pig intestines fly as Taiwan lawmakers engage in ham-fisted political attacks," 27 Nov. 2020 In Kern County, home to five state prisons, one address was used to receive benefits in the names of 16 different inmates. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Scott Peterson among California inmates who received COVID relief funds, prosecutors say," 25 Nov. 2020 In Kern County, home to five state prisons, one address was used to receive benefits for 16 inmates. Adam Beam, USA TODAY, "'The inmates are mocking us': California OK'd unemployment aid in name of more than 20K prisoners, including Scott Peterson," 25 Nov. 2020 Yet the address Wednesday highlighted how access to officials in the federal government will only get Biden so far in advancing his agenda, particularly in confronting the pandemic. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Biden steps into leadership vacuum to reassure Americans with Thanksgiving address," 25 Nov. 2020 This ensures your orders can be processed efficiently, not to mention shipped to the correct address. Sian Babish,, "The biggest shopping weekend of the year is different this year — here’s what to expect," 25 Nov. 2020 In Kern County, home to five state prisons, one address was used to receive benefits in the names of 16 different inmates. CBS News, "$140 million in fraudulent unemployment claims made on behalf of thousands of California prison inmates, prosecutor says," 24 Nov. 2020 Economists are expecting the address to be light on spending initiatives, even though gross domestic product is on track to decline 6.1% this year. Eric Lam,, "Lam Faces Pandemics-to-Politics Test in Key Hong Kong Address," 24 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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Learn More about address

Time Traveler for address

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for address

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Address.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for address


How to pronounce address (audio)

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)


How to pronounce address (audio)

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

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