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 These particular groups were chosen to address the crises that arose in 2020. Mike Anthony,, "Mike Anthony: Travelers Championship’s biggest winners are the people and charities of Connecticut, even in pandemic-stricken 2020," 22 Oct. 2020 For more than 90 days, Mnuchin has been in on-again, off-again talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), trying to clinch a critically necessary relief package to address the economic and health crises spawned by the coronavirus pandemic. Washington Post, "Live updates: Obama says Trump ‘can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself’ from coronavirus," 22 Oct. 2020 Six, 15-minute segments will address the topics of fighting the pandemic, American families, race relations, climate change, national security and leadership. John Mccormick, WSJ, "Final Trump-Biden Debate Marks Start of Sprint to Election," 22 Oct. 2020 These would address issues like masks, social distancing and notification of employees when a co-worker is sick. Alison Knezevich,, "Complaint alleges Maryland agency has failed to protect workers during coronavirus pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020 Bureau of Prisons spokesman Justin Long did not address questions about access for prisoners in solitary confinement. NBC News, "Prisoners won the right to stimulus checks. Some prisons are standing in the way.," 21 Oct. 2020 Board members didn’t address the comments until more than three hours later, near the end of the meeting. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake City school board members sent profane texts and attacks as they debated how to hold fall classes," 21 Oct. 2020 Flags Fiesta Texas spokesman Jeff Filicko did not directly address Saturday’s social distancing issues. Randy Diamond,, "Six Flags Halloween horror event packs park," 20 Oct. 2020 Kitzhaber did not address his son’s history in his blog post. oregonlive, "Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber says he opposes one-of-a-kind drug decriminalization Measure 110," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The legendary Rangers public address announcer, Chuck Morgan, took the microphone about 14 minutes before the game. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "‘We breathe this stuff’: An inside look at fans’ first experience inside Globe Life Field," 13 Oct. 2020 Orange County Marine deputies had been on Bay Lake making announcements via a public address system to tell the man to exit the island. William Thornton |, al, "Alabama man who broke into Disney World during lockdown banned for life," 7 Oct. 2020 Additionally, the Planning and Zoning committee’s comments suggested that the facilities not have any field lights or a public address system and the facilities should only be used by Bellaire High School and needs to be locked when not in use. Ryan Nickerson, Houston Chronicle, "Plan for Bellaire High baseball facility goes back to committee after neighborhood resistance," 7 Oct. 2020 As a precaution, lifeguards made public address announcements regarding the sightings, added extra patrols a roughly one-mile perimeter in the area and posted warning signs along the beach, Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz said. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Shark sightings prompt public warnings at Scripps Beach," 2 Oct. 2020 The public address announcer had to use pauses in the action to remind fans to wear their face coverings. Usa Today Sports Network, USA TODAY, "Opening of 2020 SEC football season was like no other," 28 Sep. 2020 This was politics, conveyed by banners bearing President Donald Trump’s name and image, a prayer over the public address system and a fiery speech that sketched the stakes of the upcoming election in stark terms. Bruce Selcraig,, "Trump Train is a regular party in New Braunfels, but some are feeling the hangover," 25 Sep. 2020 Bowman, 29, served as a public-address announcer for the alternate site games at Prasco Park, giving his teammates nicknames and playing sound effects. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Sonny Gray hopes to pitch again this season after back injury; Nick Senzel returns," 15 Sep. 2020 Social-distancing guidelines, including signage on the floors and public-address announcements, have worked, Bunch said, while concerns about potential resistance to wearing face masks proved unfounded. Washington Post, "With safety protocols working, Smithsonian to reopen four more museums on Friday," 14 Sep. 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

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Address.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 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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