expressive

adjective
ex·​pres·​sive | \ik-ˈspre-siv \

Definition of expressive 

1 : of or relating to expression the expressive function of language

2 : serving to express, utter, or represent foul and novel terms expressive of rage— H. G. Wells

3 : effectively conveying meaning or feeling an expressive silence expressive line drawings

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Other Words from expressive

expressively adverb
expressiveness noun

Examples of expressive in a Sentence

the expressive function of language the teacher's expressive sigh showed that she had heard that excuse many times before

Recent Examples on the Web

The other participants’ avatars were surprisingly expressive. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Void’s Ralph Breaks VR puts players inside a giant interactive Disney movie," 21 Nov. 2018 Femininity, as a cultural personality, was no longer expressive for me. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Stepping Out of Character and Starting a New Story," 25 June 2018 Bullock's voice is deeply rich and richly deep, with both the qualities of Anderson's expressive contralto and Price's electrifying climaxes. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Kathleen Battle, Julia Bullock and the saga of opera singers of color," 5 Apr. 2018 For those who wish their Bitmoji was just a little more expressive, comes Apple's take on personalized emoji. Hanna Howard, Teen Vogue, "Apple iOS 12 Officially Debuts," 17 Sep. 2018 Malin+Goetz co-founders created an eco-friendly shampoo in honor of the duo's beloved and wildly expressive pug, Mr. Greenberg, to gently cleanse and detangle his fur. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "9 Luxurious Dog Shampoos for the Furry Friend in Your Life," 18 July 2018 Bear in mind that voting is, critically, an expressive act. New York Times, "Must I Honor My Dad’s Gifts to Political Groups?," 26 June 2018 As a farmer’s daughter, Maggie would have appreciated the care and dedication that went into growing the grapes for this expressive red blend of 60% Petite Sirah and 40% Zinfandel. Breanne L. Heldman, PEOPLE.com, "The Walking Dead's Latest Wines Allow You to Toast Michonne, Maggie and Carol," 21 May 2018 For this listener, the micro-inflections in phrasing and dynamics often worked against the music’s broader expressive arc, but the performance overall drew hearty approval from the Shed audience. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, "Tanglewood opens with Bernstein’s exuberance, Lang Lang’s return," 8 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for expressive

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

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More Definitions for expressive

expressive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of expressive

: showing emotions and feelings clearly and openly

: showing or expressing something

: of or relating to expression

expressive

adjective
ex·​pres·​sive | \ik-ˈspre-siv \

Kids Definition of expressive

1 : showing emotions : full of expression expressive eyes

2 : making something known Her story is expressive of her mood.

Other Words from expressive

expressively adverb

expressive

adjective
ex·​pres·​sive

Legal Definition of expressive 

1 : of or relating to expression

2 : serving to express or represent expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment

Other Words from expressive

expressively adverb
expressiveness noun

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