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

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 When better, after all, than in uncertain times to reach for a bold red lipstick that commands the room or a rebel scrawl of expressive blue eyeliner? Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "14 Red, White and Blue Beauty Products for Fourth of July," 3 July 2018 The title is about surveillance, but what’s fun about the piece are the expressive faces of the city’s rowhouses, smiling, looking blank, and in one instance emitting an Edvard Munch (or perhaps Home Alone) scream. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "Philly artists' big, urgent show at Woodmere looks out from the rowhouse to the world," 21 June 2018 For fans of both modern and traditional folk, Paul bridges the gap between eras with his expressive lyricism and folk-pop style. Anchorage Daily News, "Coming up: An all-day jazz fest, the Three Barons Renaissance Fair and Ellis Paul," 31 May 2018 McKenzie matches him, with eyes that are equally expressive. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Leave No Trace' shows empathy for those on the fringes of society," 29 June 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

12 Nov 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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Comments on expressive

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