expressed; expressing; expresses

Definition of express

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to represent in words : state
b : to make known the opinions or feelings of (oneself)
c : to give expression to the artistic or creative impulses or abilities of (oneself)
d : to give or convey a true impression of : show, reflect
e : to represent by a sign or symbol : symbolize
2 : to send by express
3a : to force out (something, such as the juice of a fruit) by pressure
b : to subject to pressure so as to extract something
4 : to cause (a gene) to manifest its effects in the phenotype also : to manifest or produce (a character, molecule, or effect) by a genetic process


ex·​press | \ ik-ˈspres How to pronounce express (audio) \

Definition of express (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : directly, firmly, and explicitly stated my express orders
2a : of a particular sort : specific for that express purpose
b : designed for or adapted to its purpose
3a : traveling at high speed specifically : traveling with few or no stops along the way express train
b : designed or intended to be used for fast movement or travel an express highway with few local exits the express lane at the supermarket
c(1) : delivered faster than usual an express shipment
(2) British : designated to be delivered without delay by special messenger



Definition of express (Entry 3 of 4)

1a(1) : a system for the prompt and safe transportation of parcels, money, or goods at rates higher than standard freight charges
(2) : a company operating such a merchandise freight service
b British : a messenger sent on a special errand
c British : a dispatch conveyed by a special messenger
d British : special delivery
2 : an express vehicle



Definition of express (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : by express delivered express
2 obsolete : expressly

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Other Words from express


expresser noun
expressible \ ik-​ˈspre-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce expressible (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for express

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for express


express, vent, utter, voice, broach, air mean to make known what one thinks or feels. express suggests an impulse to reveal in words, gestures, actions, or what one creates or produces. expressed her feelings in music vent stresses a strong inner compulsion to express especially in words. a tirade venting his frustration utter implies the use of the voice not necessarily in articulate speech. utter a groan voice does not necessarily imply vocal utterance but does imply expression or formulation in words. an editorial voicing their concerns broach adds the implication of disclosing for the first time something long thought over or reserved for a suitable occasion. broached the subject of a divorce air implies an exposing or parading of one's views often in order to gain relief or sympathy or attention. publicly airing their differences


explicit, definite, express, specific mean perfectly clear in meaning. explicit implies such verbal plainness and distinctness that there is no need for inference and no room for difficulty in understanding. explicit instructions definite stresses precise, clear statement or arrangement that leaves no doubt or indecision. the law is definite in such cases express implies both explicitness and direct and positive utterance. her express wishes specific applies to what is precisely and fully treated in detail or particular. two specific criticisms

Examples of express in a Sentence

Verb He expressed an interest in meeting her. She expressed surprise at his rude behavior. The results can be expressed as a percentage. The length, expressed in centimeters, is 29. They expressed the package to us. Adjective the express lane at the grocery store a trip to the supermarket with the express purpose of buying milk Noun He sent the package to us by express. He takes the express to work. Adverb They sent the package express.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb United Methodists’ conflicts, which have expressed themselves mostly in questions of the inclusion of its LGBTQ members, go back to 1972, recalled Patricia Miller, executive director of the conservative United Methodist Confessing Movement. Washington Post, "United Methodist leaders explain plan to split denomination," 14 Jan. 2020 In what appeared to be a positive sign, a HUD official was on hand Tuesday to express support for the demolition. al, "Demolition at hand for Mobile’s Josephine Allen complex," 14 Jan. 2020 So when Lopez didn't get a nomination for best supporting actress, her fans and fellow celebrities took to the internet to express their anger. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Celebrities and fans fume over Jennifer Lopez's Oscar "snub"," 13 Jan. 2020 Wiener said a 6 yearold is old enough to express feelings so that a parent can make a more informed choice for the child. Los Angeles Times, "Legislation to ban surgery on intersex children fails in California Senate committee," 13 Jan. 2020 Our goal was and still is to properly express art and personal/cultural moments through our garments. Nandi Howard, Essence, "This Brooklyn Based Streetwear Brand Is Expressing Art Through Its Garments," 13 Jan. 2020 There is nothing wrong with engaging in a hearty debate, by the way, if both sides are permitted to express themselves and each of you listen and respond respectfully. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "A change in faith prompts a change in friends," 12 Jan. 2020 There is nothing wrong with engaging in a hearty debate, by the way, if both sides are permitted to express themselves and each of you listen and respond respectfully. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Woman stumbles over friendship as her life’s focus changes," 12 Jan. 2020 The study allowed me to be open to the idea of them expressing themselves in different ways. Erin Allday,, "Bay Area doctors target health consequences of childhood trauma," 5 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Another 34% said their manager had okayed time out of the office for the express purpose of checking off Christmas or Hannukah to-do lists. Anne Fisher, Fortune, "Most People Will Be Working During the Holidays Because They Can," 26 Dec. 2019 Colorado pitchers served up a team record 270 home runs in 2019, surpassing the previous high of 239 in 2001, the year before the humidor was installed at Coors Field with the express purpose of reducing offense. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "“Juiced baseballs” creating issues for Rockies and other MLB teams in 2020," 15 Dec. 2019 The Baker administration is also examining the possibility of having managed express lanes that would let solo drivers use carpool lanes for a fee, but opposes most other forms of congestion pricing., "“I think people are boiling over with frustration,” she said Friday.," 8 Dec. 2019 Her solution of providing more paid express lanes encourages the entitlement of the few who can afford to pay for their privilege to pollute without conscience. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: HOV lanes: Yea or nay? (11/29/19)," 29 Nov. 2019 Duncan Robinson has emerged not only as reliable rotation replacement, but as a savvy starter who has created express lanes to the rim for others by spacing the floor. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Spoelstra in a better place, but Heat decisions remain | Commentary," 18 Nov. 2019 Interstate 880 will be added in 2020, when express lanes open there. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, "How to catch carpool cheats: Behind the search to find a better way," 28 July 2019 The money was not Trahan’s; it was transferred to Trahan’s joint bank account for the express purpose of financing her campaign., "Trahan aides have repeatedly said the freshman lawmaker did nothing wrong. Her campaign has insisted that money she had loaned her campaign came out of her own personal funds, including $300,000 from the joint bank account and $71,000 she borrowed from a home equity line of credit.," 31 Oct. 2019 Britain has around 100 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with other countries, designed with the express purpose of preventing expropriation. The Economist, "A Labour government would radically transform Britain," 30 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Crate & Barrel Order by December 19 at 5 p.m. CT for standard shipping, December 20 at 5 p.m. CT for premium shipping, or December 22 by 5 p.m CT for express shipping. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "Here are all of the major retailers that will still deliver gifts before Christmas," 19 Dec. 2019 Travel was expected to be severely limited between French cities Friday, with nine out of 10 high-speed trains and seven out of 10 regional express trains canceled., "PARIS — Angry railway employees, teachers, and other workers in France showed no signs of backing down from a nationwide strike Friday, having brought public transportation to a standstill in a protest over President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the nation’s pension system.," 7 Dec. 2019 The court was considering for a second time whether relatives of foreign victims injured on foreign soil can go to court without express authorization from Congress. Washington Post, "Supreme Court seems wary of allowing families of slain Mexican teens to sue U.S. border agents," 12 Nov. 2019 Something needs to change, because that form is a one-way ticket on an express train to the second tier., "10 of the Most Eye-Catching Statistics to Emerge From Saturday's Premier League Clashes," 20 Oct. 2019 While additional stops could lengthen the trips, officials say Virgin Trains still will operate as an express train service. Susannah Bryan,, "Brightline could stop in Boca Raton by end of next year," 23 July 2019 And finally, don’t try to apply for Real ID at driver’s license express facilities. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Real answers for those who are really confused about Real ID driver’s licenses," 21 Nov. 2019 Like London, the fee was launched in conjunction with augmented transit that included express buses to the suburbs., "Seeing red," 19 Nov. 2019 The new bridge will have four express toll lanes in addition to eight free lanes, as the current bridge has. Robert Mccartney, Washington Post, "Hold the applause: American Legion Bridge plan poses environmental, financial risks," 18 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb All express pleasant shock at their changed Sundays. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc: Would you miss the NFL and the Cincinnati Bengals if they were gone?," 5 Feb. 2018 EXPRESS-BUS SOLUTION Why the Metro Gold Line is not the solution to traffic congestion in St. Paul: Congestion is primarily during rush hour and thus the solution must address commuters during typical business hours. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, "Letter: Gold Line won’t solve congestion in St. Paul," 15 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'express.' 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 express


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1f


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for express


Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French espresser, from expres, adjective


Middle English, from Anglo-French expres, from Latin expressus, past participle of exprimere to press out, express, from ex- + premere to press — more at press

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Time Traveler for express

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for express

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Express.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for express



English Language Learners Definition of express

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: to talk or write about (something that you are thinking or feeling)
: to make (your thoughts and feelings) known by doing something other than talking or writing
: to show (an amount, quantity, etc.) by a sign or a symbol


How to pronounce express (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of express (Entry 2 of 4)

: said or given in a clear way
: of a particular kind
: traveling at high speed with few stops



English Language Learners Definition of express (Entry 3 of 4)

: a system for delivering things (such as letters and packages) quickly
: a train or bus that travels quickly with few stops



English Language Learners Definition of express (Entry 4 of 4)

: by a system that delivers letters and packages quickly : by express


ex·​press | \ ik-ˈspres How to pronounce express (audio) \
expressed; expressing

Kids Definition of express

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to make known especially in words I expressed my surprise.
2 : to represent by a sign or symbol The amount was expressed as a percentage.
3 : to send by a quick method of delivery



Kids Definition of express (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : clearly stated an express order
2 : of a certain sort I came for an express purpose.
3 : sent or traveling at high speed express mail



Kids Definition of express (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a system for the quick transportation of goods Send your package by express.
2 : a vehicle (as a train or elevator) run at special speed with few or no stops
ex·​press | \ ik-ˈspres, ek- How to pronounce express (audio) \

Medical Definition of express

1 : to make known or exhibit by an expression
2a : to force out by pressure express breast milk manually or by electric pump
b : to subject to pressure so as to extract something some pumps express one breast at a time— Paula Lynn Parks
3 : to cause (a gene) to manifest its effects in the phenotype a gene selectively expressed in lung tumors also : to manifest or produce (a character, molecule, or effect) by a genetic process individuals with the gene express symptoms of the disease differentially expressed proteins

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Legal Definition of express

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: directly and distinctly stated or expressed rather than implied or left to inference — compare implied

Legal Definition of express (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make known (one's thoughts, ideas, or opinions) by words, conduct, or symbols — see also expression

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More from Merriam-Webster on express

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for express

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with express

Spanish Central: Translation of express

Nglish: Translation of express for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of express for Arabic Speakers

Comments on express

What made you want to look up express? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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