expressed; expressing; expresses

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


ex·​press | \ ik-ˈspres How to pronounce express (audio) \

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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Her organization, a collaboration between two architecture firms, will express its commitment to equitable and sustainable urban planning with a booth that promotes converting spots to bike lanes. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Sep. 2021 The workers said visitors need to express kōkua, or your help, in protecting the sacred ecosystem, from aina (land) to kai (sea). Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 15 Sep. 2021 Climate experts and fire officials express concern that the state’s destructive wildfire season may only worsen this fall with the arrival of intense seasonal winds. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 Passive-aggressive behavior is sometimes used as a coping mechanism to deal with anger so as not to express the anger. Patricia Fersch, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 That’s just one of the ways the books overflow their formats, as if to express feelings that can’t be contained. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 The answer can be complicated and not always easy for athletes to express. Edgar Thompson,, 14 Aug. 2021 The share of schools providing an all-virtual option for some students has doubled in that time, to 8 in 10, as families express concern about the delta variant., 13 Aug. 2021 As the majority of Jews in the United States overwhelmingly vote Democrat, Bergstein feels its difficult for a Republican Jewish man like him to express his views with people of his religion who are liberal-minded. Sergio Carmona,, 13 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But his express trip to the winner’s circle hit a painful detour. Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Sep. 2021 There are group discounts and variations on an express pass for rides as well. Dewayne Bevil,, 14 Sep. 2021 The big one is free express delivery on millions of items, many of which may arrive the same day (or even within 2 hours for groceries). Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 11 Sep. 2021 The battered, giant motor of the express elevator that took you to the Windows on the World restaurant is there. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 These gates will be express lines for individuals without bags. Ben Flanagan |, al, 10 Sep. 2021 What happens if the person creating said content is doing so without the express consent of anyone else in the images and clips? Peter Rubin, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 Weinstein showed me the torn motor of an express elevator and a massive segment of the antenna that once stood atop the north tower. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 9 Sep. 2021 Davis, Stein and Stein’s wife, Shirley, express surprise, as most people would. Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Lastly, the peak residential delivery charge for express and ground services in the U.S. will double to $0.60 per package, compared to $0.30 currently. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for express

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

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Express.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for express



English Language Learners Definition of express

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: to talk or write about (something that you are thinking or feeling)
: to make (your thoughts and feelings) known by doing something other than talking or writing
: to show (an amount, quantity, etc.) by a sign or a symbol



English Language Learners Definition of express (Entry 2 of 4)

: said or given in a clear way
: of a particular kind
: traveling at high speed with few stops



English Language Learners Definition of express (Entry 3 of 4)

: a system for delivering things (such as letters and packages) quickly
: a train or bus that travels quickly with few stops



English Language Learners Definition of express (Entry 4 of 4)

: by a system that delivers letters and packages quickly : by 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

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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


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