\ ik-ˈspres How to pronounce express (audio) \
expressed; expressing; expresses

Essential Meaning of express

1 : to talk or write about (something that you are thinking or feeling) He expressed an interest in meeting her. We expressed (to them) our thoughts/feelings/views on the subject. She expressed surprise at his rude behavior.
2 : to make (your thoughts and feelings) known by doing something other than talking or writing Her love of nature is expressed [=shown, reflected] in her paintings/music. Words can't (even begin to) express how grateful I am.
3 : to show (an amount, quantity, etc.) by a sign or a symbol The results can be expressed as a percentage. The length, expressed in centimeters, is 29.

Full 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



Definition of express (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : directly, firmly, and explicitly stated my express orders
b : exact, precise
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

Other Words from express


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for express

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For years, Spears did not publicly express her feelings about the conservatorship — but that changed on June 23. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, 12 Nov. 2021 Williams, however, did express dismay about the closure during an interview with KSAT. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Nov. 2021 Others of us can’t fathom tackling anything close to the traditional Thanksgiving menu, but still want to find a way to express gratitude. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 Still, well-meaning friends might express concerns about your financial security, and having a backup plan is probably a good idea. Tarot Astrologers,, 9 Nov. 2021 At the outset, many callers would express gratitude. The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Oct. 2021 Senator Toomey did not express any similar misgivings when the Senate Banking Committee approved President Trump’s nomination of Jelena McWilliams to become FDIC Chairman in January 2018. Arthur E. Wilmarth, The New Republic, 22 Oct. 2021 But if Billups fails to elevate the team’s play, could Lillard once again express concern about the franchise’s commitment to winning a championship? oregonlive, 20 Oct. 2021 Fans have at least three more chances to express themselves, loudly, at Fenway Park this season., 18 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Houses built for the express purpose of renting tend to differ from traditional single-family homes in their design and style. Camille Squires, Quartz, 19 Nov. 2021 With both types of pre-verified checks, the money was being deposited at Wells Fargo for the express purpose of paying off a Wells mortgage. Los Angeles Times, 19 Nov. 2021 The express train on the Keio Line made an emergency stop so passengers could disembark. Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2021 Prop guns are designed with the express purpose of looking like real firearms, but not actually functioning as so. Ally Mauch,, 22 Oct. 2021 Wizkid has been one of the strongest proponents of those artists, starting his label in 2013 with the express purpose of sharing his spotlight with them along with his many collaborators and friends. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 21 Oct. 2021 The attack occurred on the Keio express line bound for Shinjuku, the world's busiest rail station, at around 8 p.m. (1100 GMT), media said. NBC News, 31 Oct. 2021 The Keio express train made an emergency stop due to the fire. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 31 Oct. 2021 Luckily for us, scalp care is having a moment and there are a plethora of products with the express aim of making sure our scalps are as healthy as possible. Tatjana Freund, Marie Claire, 22 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That said, as the Covid-19 crisis winds down, the demand for express shipping and freight business is likely to rise. Trefis Team, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Matt Beaty joined Lux on the express to Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for Mookie Betts and Darien Núñez. Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 Multiple-night tickets for the 2021 edition of Halloween Horror Nights have been posted on Universal Orlando’s website, including express passes and the all-you-can-scream Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass. Dewayne Bevil,, 5 Aug. 2021 The second location will be off 82nd street, next to the Panda express. Lilly St. Angelo, The Indianapolis Star, 3 Aug. 2021 With the 14 commuter express routes coming back online, Metro Transit will still have 40 commuter routes that remain suspended. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 These compete in a crowded market with package and express-delivery services such as UPS, Federal Express, and DHL. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 25 June 2021 The majority have confidence in their ability to pay for day-to-day needs like food, and housing, but not everyone is: a third express some concern. Anthony Salvanto, CBS News, 14 June 2021 As per the latest update, FedEx has revised its peak additional handling surcharge for express and ground services within the U.S., and international ground service, to $3.75 per package from $3.00 per package currently, reflecting a 25% growth. Trefis Team, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb All express pleasant shock at their changed Sundays. Paul Daugherty,, 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, 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.

See More

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

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best baby bottles of 2021.

Learn More About express

Time Traveler for express

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near express




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for express

Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Express.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for 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


transitive verb
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



Legal Definition of express

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on express

Nglish: Translation of express for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of express for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!