Meaning of EXPRESSION in English


ikˈspreshən, ek- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English expressioun, from Medieval Latin expression-, expressio, from Latin, action of pressing out, from expressus (past participle of exprimere to express, press out) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at express


a. : an act, process, or instance of representing, manifesting, or conveying in words or some other medium : manifestation , utterance , issue

the sacred principle of freedom of expression of ideas

his anger found expression in a string of oaths

his talent found expression in the plastic arts


(1) : something that manifests, represents, reflects, embodies, or symbolizes something else : sign , token

a country in which socialism found its practical expression

an assortment of gifts as expressions of his fans' admiration — Current Biography

the first clinical expression of the disease

(2) : a significant word or phrase

he uses some very odd expressions

(3) : a sign or character or a finite sequence of signs or characters (as logical or mathematical symbols) representing a quantity or operation

(4) : the detectable effect of a gene ; also : expressivity



(1) : a mode, means, or use of significant representation or symbolism

dignified expression in writing

especially : felicitous or vivid indication or depiction of mood or sentiment

read a poem with expression

(2) : a manipulation of formal artistic means or an interpretation of subject matter to reveal forcefully the artist's conception, mood, or attitude

(3) : features of musical performance other than mechanical reproduction of the notes commonly including gradations of tempo and dynamics, phrasing and articulation, and nuance whether indicated by expression marks or left to the performer's discretion

(4) : use of artistic means or the artistic interpretation of subject matter for the imaginative recreation of objects from nature or life

delightful and illuminating journey through 150 years of graphic expression — Una E. Johnson

the aestheticians of romanticism invented the term expression to describe the artistic purpose to which apparent imitation was subservient — J.W.Krutch


(1) : the quality or fact of being expressive

eyes full of fire and expression

(2) : facial aspect or vocal intonation as indicative of feeling

she tried to read something in his face … but was not yet capable of understanding its expression — Joseph Conrad

3. : an act or product of pressing out

expression is a process of forcibly separating liquids from solids — E.F.Cook & E.W.Martin

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.