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 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

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 Days before the start of the 32nd Alaska State Legislature, the Alaska House and the Alaska Senate are leaderless, leaving the Legislature unable to address pressing state issues. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Facing huge problems, the Alaska Legislature still hasn’t decided who’s in charge," 17 Jan. 2021 First, the affordability piece that Eyre has been trying to address where families can’t cover the cost to connect. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "This Utah school district has built its own internet service so students can log on from home," 17 Jan. 2021 Voluntary participation is preferred but not adequate to address the overriding interest in achieving herd immunity though the vaccination program. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Getting a COVID vaccines, historic preservation," 17 Jan. 2021 Hiroshi Motomura, an immigration law professor at UCLA, said any long-term solution to immigration reform has to address why people migrate in the first place. oregonlive, "Biden plans legislation to offer path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants without legal status," 16 Jan. 2021 To try to address this, experts have increased the database from 32,000 characters to 70,000 characters, according to the government. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Why 1.2 billion people share the same 100 surnames in China," 16 Jan. 2021 Both conviction integrity and sentencing review units are seen as ways to address racial inequity and mass incarceration, the prosecutors said. Washington Post, "Va. attorney general launches Conviction Integrity Unit to identify wrongful convictions," 16 Jan. 2021 The market ahead offers multiple ways to address this deficiency, while potentially pairing the younger Ionescu with a veteran big with championship experience. New York Times, "The Liberty Enter Free Agency ‘Absolutely’ Ready for Big Changes," 15 Jan. 2021 Ultimately, societies must address the roots underlying extremism, says Ms. Dittmer of Reporters Without Borders. Lenora Chu, The Christian Science Monitor, "Europe criticizes Trump Twitter ban – but not for reason you'd expect," 15 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun President Ronald Reagan quoted King during a weekly radio address in January 1986, saying African Americans had experienced economic growth under his administration and objecting to minority hiring goals. Javonte Anderson, USA TODAY, "Martin Luther King Jr.'s words of unity and truth transcend how they are often twisted," 18 Jan. 2021 After four years, Melania Trump has given her last address as First Lady of the United States. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Melania Trump Just Gave Her Farewell Address Amid Backlash For Snubbing Dr. Jill Biden," 18 Jan. 2021 Biden's Inauguration Day address will seek to bridge the nation's deepening political divide by summoning support from people who didn't vote for him as well as those who did, according to advisers. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "Biden plans 1st-day changes; rejoining climate deal, tossing some migrant rules on list," 18 Jan. 2021 Then state epidemiologists saw that one of the three people who had the new more infectious variant shared a street address in Minnesota with someone else who recently tested positive for regular COVID at a different lab. Joe Carlson, Star Tribune, "COVID test used in Minnesota may offer clues about new strain," 17 Jan. 2021 There were valid explanations, including the vagaries of international mail, address changes, and so on. Daniel Loedel, The Atlantic, "My Sister Was Disappeared 43 Years Ago," 17 Jan. 2021 For Kall, Biden's address will be complemented by his appearance alongside former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton for his swearing-in and a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden's unity talk haunting him amid Trump impeachment," 15 Jan. 2021 All were made in 2020, but some address concerns that far predate the pandemic. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Middle East artists examine sheltering in place amid pandemic," 15 Jan. 2021 According to court documents, the man, Kevin Seefried of Delaware, went to Washington on Jan. 6 with his son, Hunter, to hear President Trump address a crowd outside the White House. New York Times, "Inaugural Security Is Fortified in D.C. as Military and Police Links Are Eyed in Riot," 14 Jan. 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

23 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Address.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!