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

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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 To help address those challenges, Lipski said the Fire Department is weighing several options. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee is short on both ambulances and EMTs. Here's how officials are trying to solve it.," 7 May 2021 Portland is proposing $8 million in spending cuts during the next five years to help address the budget crisis. oregonlive, "COVID-19 unmasks Portland’s ‘unsustainable’ transportation budget as city faces long-term uncertainty," 4 May 2021 The more women studying these subjects will help to address the gender pay gap, which in 2020 reached 6.5%, an increase on the previous year. Juliet Davenport, Forbes, "Here’s How To Fix Renewable Energy’s Diversity Problem," 4 May 2021 In recent months, a new solution has emerged to help address that need. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Minaret vaccination, Rushmore fight, enrollment drops: News from around our 50 states," 4 May 2021 Still, quotas or other measures that would help address racial inequality aren’t even part of the debate, said Toasijé. Aritz Parra, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spain's immigrant politician highlights racial imbalances," 3 May 2021 Holland and Eichenberg were solid picks in need areas, and finding a tight end like Hunter Long in the third should help address potential free-agent losses after the season. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde10: Nationally, they’re in love with Dolphins draft — comments from the pundits," 3 May 2021 Still, quotas or other measures that would help address racial inequality aren’t even part of the debate, said Toasijé. Fox News, "Black candidate challenges political status quo in Spain," 3 May 2021 The grants will help address those needs, Raymond said., "Maine foundation provides $1M in food, shelter grants," 2 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just before the start of Saturday’s race, the public-address announcer let the crowd at Mike A. Myers Stadium know that the national record — for high school-only competitions — was 9:47.88 by Katelyn Tuohy from New York in 2018. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Running for a teammate who passed away, Denton Guyer’s Brynn Brown breaks state-meet record in the 3,200," 9 May 2021 To take advantage of this deal, teachers need to create an account with a school email address. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Teacher Appreciation Day brings freebies, deals for teachers; free McDonald's McFlurry, Taco Bell for all Tuesday," 4 May 2021 The crowd then went silent waiting for the public address announcer to reveal the winner... Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Prep Rally: Biggest track meet of the year is Saturday," 3 May 2021 Some Grateful Dead tunes played over the public address system, a nice touch to hear Bird’s favorite band jamming. Pat Stoetzer,, "Stoetzer: Saying goodbye to Bird Brown with community after a long, sad week | COMMENTARY," 2 May 2021 Music suddenly came to a stop, and an announcement over the public address system urged everyone to leave the area. Washington Post, "Celebrations turn into tragedy: A visual timeline of the deadly stampede in Israel," 30 Apr. 2021 For example, instead of providing a brand with an email address, customers will be looking for platforms that enable them to connect using a messenger app. David Sawatzky, Fortune, "The 3 factors that make a digital product truly innovative," 30 Apr. 2021 Prince George’s Stadium, was announced Friday as the new permanent public address announcer for the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles name Adrienne Roberson as new public address announcer at Camden Yards, first woman to hold the job," 23 Apr. 2021 In a concession to transparency, Kentucky stewards have since started explaining the reasons behind disqualifications over tracks' public address systems. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby steward finally tells all about controversial Maximum Security case," 22 Apr. 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.

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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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Address.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 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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