Definition of expressive in English:



  • 1Effectively conveying thought or feeling.

    ‘she has big expressive eyes’
    • ‘Iwan is an expressive performer, jumping around the stage, screaming and shouting.’
    • ‘He thrived on the atmosphere and whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his expressive displays of emotions.’
    • ‘Bertie gave an expressive grunt, which conveyed his opinion that there was no accounting for tastes.’
    • ‘The Chamber Choir brought the first half to a climax with an expressive performance of Cantique de Jean Racine.’
    • ‘Her pleasing voice met the demands of the wide vocal range with assurance and expressive colour.’
    • ‘His expressive, playful and emotion-loaded voice is appropriately soft but never soppy.’
    • ‘Her aim now is to explore a more expressive, fine art interpretation.’
    • ‘Caroline is more than just a pretty face and expressive voice on the stage.’
    • ‘According to Conrad, there are limits to the expressive capacities of narrative film.’
    • ‘He's from the old school, motioning you ahead of him through doorways with a graceful wave of his expressive hands.’
    • ‘Emptiness is as full as fullness, and the whiteness of the paper is as expressive as the marks made upon it.’
    • ‘As passionate and expressive as she is in her acting roles, as an interviewee she can be extremely difficult.’
    • ‘I guess it's fairly predictable that I would instantly fall in love with a song that has such an expressive title.’
    • ‘Some of these highly expressive conversations took place in very public places.’
    • ‘Sometimes the effects are so expressive you can't believe chance did this.’
    • ‘Her work is particularly vibrant and expressive, and her animals come alive on the canvas.’
    • ‘You can be bold and expressive at this point to get your message across in high places and to important people.’
    • ‘The prints range in subject from expressive individual figures to more complex detailed narrative scenes.’
    • ‘Her face was expressive and her emotions streamed through like light streams through glass.’
    • ‘Each of the twelve songs on this album are composed of beautifully expressive and intimate lyrics.’
    eloquent, meaningful, telling, revealing, demonstrative, suggestive
    emotional, full of emotion, full of feeling, indicating emotion, indicating feeling, passionate, intense, deeply felt, poignant, moving, stirring, striking, evocative, artistic
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    1. 1.1Conveying (a specified quality or idea)
      ‘the spires are expressive of religious aspiration’
      • ‘The free training class aims to help more people get to know the ancient music - which is an embodiment of traditional Chinese culture and most expressive of the essence of Chinese music.’
      • ‘I just have to be me, unique and expressive of all that is inside just waiting to bust out.’
      • ‘Today, on the streets of Edinburgh or Glasgow, the kilt and the pipes - and a lot more besides - are not only sexy but also expressive of a new confidence that surges through contemporary Scottish culture.’
      • ‘When his physician announced an unfavourable change in his condition, he expressed entire resignation, and requested his friends to sing a hymn expressive of that feeling.’
      • ‘We're both very expressive of our thoughts and feelings but she'll tell me straight up what she thinks and what she feels.’
      • ‘There were no roars or bloodcurdling yells; there was only silence, and then, suddenly, a sigh - a deep, moaning sound, seemingly expressive of release from something dark and fetid.’
      • ‘The invitation to become members of a surrogate family not based on blood ties yet expressive of the inter-personal values of sibling kinship.’
      • ‘Both gestures celebrated the Italian gift for connecting the intellect with warm human feelings, a gift so admired by many, and expressive of the spirit of the colloquium.’
      • ‘His ideas are no more expressive of sophistic thought than of some very ancient Greek traditions.’
      • ‘She was fully expressive of her feelings; I was more introverted.’
      • ‘Note her definition of art as ‘the practice of creating perceptible forms expressive of human feeling.’’
      • ‘Some 1,800 of his sayings are collected here, most of them expressive of his wit and erudition.’
      • ‘The pose is natural and expressive of the sitter's obvious intellectual impoverishment.’
      • ‘He was happy to set Shakespeare, Herrick or Christina Rossetti to music that was clearly expressive of Victorian or Edwardian English taste.’
      • ‘What if it was expressive of the redundancy of these men's thoughts, their emptiness and circularity?’
      • ‘It is expressive of the dynamic process of ‘give and take’ between partners in an alliance.’
      • ‘The most important realization he came to was that ‘even the most absurd Hollywood movies’ were expressive of larger social forces and trends.’
      • ‘Of all the journalistic stereotypes regularly committed to celluloid, none has been more expressive of its times than the war correspondent.’
      • ‘That idea of communality is not expressive of contemporary experience.’
      • ‘Reduced to a series of numbers, desire is digitized and is no longer expressive of the individual.’
      indicative, demonstrative, demonstrating, showing, suggesting, revealing, underlining
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘tending to press out’): from French expressif, -ive or medieval Latin expressivus, from exprimere press out (see express). Compare with express.