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

Essential Meaning of address

1 : to write on an envelope, package, letter, etc., the name and address of the person or business it is being sent to I've addressed the letter, but it still needs a stamp. The package is sealed; it just needs to be addressed. See More ExamplesWe spent the afternoon addressing invitations to all our friends. The letter was returned because it had been addressed incorrectly.Hide
2 : to speak to (a person or group) 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.
3 : to use a specified name or title when speaking or writing to (someone)

Full 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 On Wednesday, the lobbying group the Business Roundtable also sent a letter to Congressional leaders on behalf of the CEOs of some of the country's biggest companies urging them to act swiftly and address the debt ceiling. Nikole Killion, CBS News, 16 Sep. 2021 Like world-class athletes, these leaders acknowledge their weaknesses and can't wait to address them head-on. John Rex, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 This design flaw, and NASA's failure to address it, are carefully dissected in this powerful, four-part Netflix documentary, with unprecedented access to the families of those involved. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 15 Sep. 2021 The program will address the company’s agricultural footprint, supply chain and business strategy, the Purchase, N.Y.-based food-and-beverage company said. Matt Grossman, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2021 Spellacy questioned why, if so many people sounded alarm bells about the conditions in the jail, no one above Mills including Pinkney, then-Public Safety Chief Frank Bova or Budish did anything to address them. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 10 Sep. 2021 Ford continues its investigation of the leak and how to address it, as EGLE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conduct investigations of the spill. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, 10 Sep. 2021 But a persistent shortage of police officers has been driving up overtime costs for the city, resulting in clashing views on how to address it. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, 9 Sep. 2021 Stow is seeking the help of community members in identifying traffic problems in town and ways to address them., 7 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The mayor and Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, have taken bureaucratic steps to more effectively address homelessness, with each creating new departments and shifting responsibilities. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 Registration for the BetMGM app, the first tethered to an MLB team, requires, like all other sports-betting apps, divulging a lot of personal data: birth date, address, proof of age, and last four digits of your Social Security number., 5 Sep. 2021 Only next summer can the Heat address an extension. Ira Winderman,, 4 Sep. 2021 Court records list Hatcher’s address as the same place where the shootings took place. Carol Robinson |, al, 2 Sep. 2021 Doesn’t all our greatest art address the subject of death—its cruelty, its inevitability? David Sedaris, The New Yorker, 30 Aug. 2021 Proactively address challenges and participate in team events. Lynne Curry, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Aug. 2021 An IP address is a unique numerical address, such as, that identifies a device’s (general) geographical location on the Internet. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2021 Lee also provided police with the address of the farm, where police found the victim, Molina wrote in the affidavit. oregonlive, 17 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries Near address




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Statistics for address

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Address.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for address


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 email can be sent or received

More from Merriam-Webster on address

Nglish: Translation of address for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of address for Arabic Speakers


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