ad·​dress | \ə-ˈdres, 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, 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 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

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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


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.


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

Mesa's new ordinance specifically addresses these facilities. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Waiting for state sober living home rules, cities add their own restrictions," 7 July 2018 This new generation of machines have been designed to address those concerns. Fortune, "Want a Bike Fit for the Tour de France? It Will Cost You About $12,000," 6 July 2018 Along with laying the groundwork for planetary protection, the Outer Space Treaty also addresses something called continuing supervision. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA needs to update its rules on how to keep the Solar System clean, report says," 5 July 2018 But none directly addresses the complaints that are fueling its conflict with Washington. Joe Mcdonald, USA TODAY, "China rejects ‘threats and blackmail’ on eve of US tariff hike," 5 July 2018 The passionate pop tune addresses a tough breakup Wesley went through with a longtime love, a time that led him to believe that love didn't exist anymore. Taylor Weatherby, Billboard, "WESLEY Encourages Fans to Find Their 'Remedy' With His Own Story of Heartbreak: Premiere," 5 July 2018 Chancellor Angela Merkel and her rebellious political allies broke an impasse over immigration that threatened to bring down Germany's coalition government by agreeing on a compromise late Monday that both sides said addressed their concerns. The Christian Science Monitor, "German leaders agree on one approach to mitigating migrant crisis," 3 July 2018 And then Victoria Rickman, who did not testify on her own behalf, addresses the court. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Was alleged rape and shooting death investigation influenced by reality TV cameras?," 30 June 2018 There are some differences between the ballot question and the bill, The Mercury News explained today: The bill differs from the initiative in the way that companies would be held accountable for breaches to address an industry concern. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "California approves privacy rules opposed by ISPs and tech companies," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Procopio did not address whether state policing duties could be left to the local police departments on the two islands. Todd Wallack,, "For some State Police, it’s a posting in paradise," 14 July 2018 The indictment did not address the question of whether the Russians’ actions were actually in response to Mr. Trump. Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times, "Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening?," 13 July 2018 Ultimately, the department did address a number of safety concerns without a court order. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 The American Civil Liberties Union requested that the government be penalized but did not address the matter at the hearing, according to a USA Today report. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Federal judge commends Trump administration for 'good faith' in family reunifications," 13 July 2018 The statement did not address whether that policy would be under review. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "State account auto-tweets link to Attorney General Curtis Hill statement criticizing accuser," 12 July 2018 The training, however, didn’t address how law-enforcement officers should respond to an active shooter within a school or other public facility. Martin E. Comas,, "School resource officers learn to 'defuse' tense situations with mentally ill," 2 July 2018 Steil spokesman Andrew Iverson praised Walker's union policies but did not address Bryce's specific statements. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Randy Bryce called unions lazy, said they had become dinosaurs before his congressional run," 2 July 2018 Trump did not address gun control, or the current climate of hostility journalists face. NBC News, "Trump says Capital Gazette shooting 'shocked the conscience of our nation'," 29 June 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near address







address book

Statistics for address

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for address

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

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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 \
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, 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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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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