expressive

adjective
ex·​pres·​sive | \ ik-ˈspre-siv How to pronounce expressive (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 giant hieroglyphs on the temple walls are some of the most expressive in Egypt. Jim Berkeley, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Egypt," 5 Oct. 2016 Wealth and reach made for some fascinating art, strikingly expressive, with rich colors and narrative punch. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "Dijon’s Masterpiece of a Museum, Brilliantly Renovated," 20 July 2019 Mokubung: This collaboration is expressive of my passion for contemporary African culture. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Meet Palesa Mokubung, The First African Designer To Collaborate With H&M," 15 Aug. 2019 Similarly expressive were the singing tones of Jaap ter Linden’s viola da gamba on a sonata by J.S. Bach’s son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Rob Hubbard, Twin Cities, "Review: Early Music Festival brings fresh energy to old sounds," 2 Aug. 2019 Sequin is hardly a chatterbox, but the actor is wonderfully expressive, capturing both the character’s pouting self-assurance and his ratcheting frazzlement. Harry Windsor, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Sequin in a Blue Room': Film Review | Outfest 2019," 22 July 2019 The contrast is nicely expressive of this difference, in ways unexpected and otherwise. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Illustrating the year 1969, when rad met trad," 10 July 2019 In that way every car is somehow expressive of its imperfections. Mark Mahaney, Smithsonian, "Danny Thompson’s Blazing Nitromethane-Fueled Pursuit of Racing Glory," 10 July 2019 On the stage, in lieu of photographic representations of all the nominees and honorees, Zimpel's expressive drawings were projected. Katarina Kovac, Vogue, "Minimal Waste and a Recycled Red Carpet: Inside This Year’s CFDA Awards Dinner," 5 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.

See More

First Known Use of expressive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about expressive

Statistics for expressive

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expressive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce expressive (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on expressive

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

WORD OF THE DAY

concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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