expression

noun
ex·​pres·​sion | \ ik-ˈspre-shən How to pronounce expression (audio) \

Definition of expression

1a : an act, process, or instance of representing in a medium (such as words) : utterance freedom of expression
b(1) : something that manifests, embodies, or symbolizes something else this gift is an expression of my admiration for you
(2) : a significant word or phrase
(3) : a mathematical or logical symbol or a meaningful combination of symbols
(4) : the detectable effect of a gene also : expressivity sense 1
2a : a mode, means, or use of significant representation or symbolism especially : felicitous or vivid indication or depiction of mood or sentiment read the poem with expression
b(1) : the quality or fact of being expressive
(2) : facial aspect or vocal intonation as indicative of feeling
3 : an act or product of pressing out

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Other Words from expression

expressional \ ik-​ˈspresh-​nəl How to pronounce expressional (audio) , -​ˈspre-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of expression in a Sentence

Dance is a form of artistic expression. He uses some very odd expressions. The expression “to make fun of” means “to ridicule.” Judging from her expression, I think the gift was a complete surprise. We saw his expression change from angry to sad. She wore a smug expression.
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Recent Examples on the Web Well into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his years in power and reflected hopes for a better future. Farai Mutsaka And Christopher Torchia, USA TODAY, "Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Well into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his years in power and reflected hopes for a better future. Fox News, "Robert Mugabe, longtime ruler of Zimbabwe, dead at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Well into the night, cars honked and people danced and sang in a spectacle of free expression that would have been impossible during his years in power and reflected hopes for a better future. Farai Mutsaka And Christopher Torchia, sun-sentinel.com, "Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 McCord and Schiff both oppose designating domestic groups as terrorist organizations because that could threaten First Amendment rights such as freedom of expression. CBS News, "ACLU pushes House Judiciary to oppose bill criminalizing domestic terrorism," 4 Sep. 2019 The Tony and Grammy award-winning actor, singer, and playwright knows how to masterfully use his style as a form of expression. Ashley Rushford, Essence, "ESSENCE Best In Black Fashion Awards: Our 2019 Trail Blazer Award Honoree Is Billy Porter," 2 Sep. 2019 Because YouTube describes itself as a public forum and a place for free expression, Obstler said, it should be governed that way. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "No One's Happy With YouTube's Content Moderation Policies," 28 Aug. 2019 Sarah Ruger, director of free expression at the Charles Koch Institute, told Time last year, explaining the foundation’s activities. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "This is the Koch Brothers empire," 23 Aug. 2019 The prevailing ethos of internet hosting and connectivity companies has long been to leave content up and sites connected — preserving users' rights to free expression. Karen Kornbluh For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "It's time to crack down on white supremacist havens like 8chan," 16 Aug. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for expression

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for expression

The first known use of expression was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for expression

expression

noun
How to pronounce expression (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of expression

: the act of making your thoughts, feelings, etc., known by speech, writing, or some other method : the act of expressing something
: a word or phrase
: the way someone's face looks that shows emotions and feelings

expression

noun
ex·​pres·​sion | \ ik-ˈspre-shən How to pronounce expression (audio) \

Kids Definition of expression

1 : the act or process of making known especially in words
2 : a meaningful word or saying Grandpa uses old-fashioned expressions.
3 : the look on someone's face She had a pleased expression.
4 : a way of speaking, singing, or playing that shows mood or feeling She read her lines with expression.

expression

noun
ex·​pres·​sion | \ ik-ˈspresh-ən How to pronounce expression (audio) \

Medical Definition of expression

1a : something that manifests, represents, reflects, embodies, or symbolizes something else the first clinical expression of a disease
b(1) : the detectable effect of a gene also : the sum of the processes (as transcription and translation) by which a gene is manifested in the phenotype gene expression can be controlled by regulatory proteins that bind to specific sites on DNA — Mark Ptashne
2 : facial aspect or vocal intonation as indicative of feeling
3 : an act or product of pressing out

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expression

noun
ex·​pres·​sion

Legal Definition of expression

1 : an act, process, or instance of representing or conveying in words or some other medium : speech protected expression under the First Amendment
2 : a mode or means of expressing an idea, opinion, or thought

Note: An expression is protectible under copyright law, but an idea is not.

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Comments on expression

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