Definition of expression in US English:

expression

noun

  • 1The process of making known one's thoughts or feelings.

    ‘she accepted his expressions of sympathy’
    ‘his views found expression in his moral sermons’
    • ‘The shift found expression in the political culture of the New Deal.’
    • ‘It will teach you how to pinpoint the specific language she speaks and interprets as expression of love.’
    • ‘Is it enough to consider the artifact as evidence of the problem solved, as an expression of the idea revealed?’
    • ‘For the modernist artist or writer, intellect had become a barrier to creativity and the expression of human emotion.’
    • ‘Our culture tends to block and suppress the healthy expression of deep emotions.’
    • ‘The bipartisan contempt for the needs of the working class also found expression in the reaction to the mayor's latest housing proposals.’
    • ‘This sense of failure in turn leads to the expression of impatience and anger toward the bereaved person.’
    • ‘His life shows that his unruly spirit found expression, joy, and satisfaction in scientific thinking and creation.’
    • ‘For example, women may be more likely to seek out support groups or develop other areas for expression, such as writing.’
    • ‘He recognized the genuineness of her emotion and her expression of it, and changed as a result.’
    • ‘Anger is one of those emotions whose expression is sometimes subject to taboos, so people can grow up unable to recognize it.’
    • ‘Posts are written as a true expression of one's thoughts at the time.’
    • ‘The theme Positive Emotionality was characterized by young fathers' positive expressions of emotions about their children.’
    • ‘It found expression in ruthless exclusivism and hegemony.’
    • ‘This was the first expression of emotion Katrina had witnessed from Mara, so she stood there shocked.’
    • ‘In the process, boys learn to repress emotion and inhibit the expression of personal feelings.’
    • ‘Rather, all this, in my opinion, is an expression of contempt for our environment and against the people in Galgate and Ellel.’
    • ‘Needless to say, Haines has one or two grievances, and he's never been afraid to use his music to give them expression.’
    • ‘These words and actions were expressions of a deep unionist siege mentality and fear of being overrun.’
    • ‘It's as if everything inside me has found expression all at once.’
    utterance, uttering, voicing, pronouncement, declaration, articulation, verbalization, statement, proclamation, assertion, announcement, setting forth, venting, mouthing
    indication, intimation, demonstration, show, exhibition, manifestation, token
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    1. 1.1 The conveying of feeling in the face or voice, in a work of art, or in the performance of a piece of music.
      ‘eyes empty of expression’
      ‘their instruments have a rich variety of expression’
      • ‘She is also interested in other forms of expression like dance, music and theatre.’
      • ‘The other part of the exhibition features the contemporary artistic expression of Greenlandic graphic art.’
      • ‘The performances gain from free expression and improvisation and Soderbergh's habit of shooting in single takes.’
      • ‘In many traditions, dance has always been as much a part of religious expression and experience as music.’
      • ‘Music is expression of divine melody, the same with the poetry.’
      • ‘For anyone who cares about music or artistic expression these presentations are riveting.’
      • ‘They turned the building into a workshop of activity, including meetings, music and other forms of political and artistic expression.’
      • ‘They may recall traditional forms or be of modern artistic expression.’
      • ‘Folk music has often given form and expression to working communities needs and desires.’
      • ‘There may be a direct link between physical movement and rhythmical expression in music.’
      • ‘She is not content with this; she wishes to put sentiment, expression, into the music.’
      • ‘To a degree, the Fodor reminds me of Hummel in terms of variety of expression and overall musical fecundity.’
      • ‘Accorded with special multimedia installations, the musical programme aims at paying homage to artistic expression.’
      • ‘It's not afraid to approach the body as a source of story, not over-intellectualizing yet still able to convey mood and expression.’
      • ‘Now I must try to devote more of my attention to the level of musical growth and expression in my students' performances.’
      • ‘Similar to the way that dance relies to a great extent on music for rhythm and expression, dance in this piece wouldn't work without the set.’
      • ‘Puppets have been a sophisticated means of artistic expression, communication and instruction for a very long time.’
      • ‘It is used to give a vibrant and colourful expression to a variety of floral subjects painted in conventional and abstract settings.’
      • ‘It really opened my eyes to new forms of expression in hip-hop music.’
      • ‘Ask any musician and they will tell you that music is about expression and conveying emotion.’
      diction, style, choice of words, turn of phrase, wording, phrasing, phraseology, language
      emotion, feeling, passion, intensity, poignancy
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  • 2A look on someone's face that conveys a particular emotion.

    ‘a sad expression’
    • ‘The realization that Kenny went with the girls soon set in and his mother's expression turned to worry.’
    • ‘Walter sat and watched Richard's pensive face as he read, which eventually led to an expression of horror and fury.’
    • ‘I spotted my friends at our usual table with perplexed expressions upon their faces.’
    • ‘The girl's expression turned from grief to anger yet again.’
    • ‘The man's expression betrayed an undercurrent of suspicion and mistrust.’
    • ‘Harold's pained expression changed rapidly to one of anger.’
    • ‘Even Reagan had a puzzled expression upon her face.’
    • ‘His father's stern expression melts away, and a smile forms on his face too.’
    • ‘Trent rolled his eyes but smiled when he saw Ally's puzzled facial expression.’
    • ‘His puzzled expression changed quickly to a grin.’
    • ‘Her sobs died away, her pained expression softening.’
    • ‘Jade nodded with a contemplative expression and led him down to the lower floors.’
    • ‘His dark eyes were pleased with the expression of horror written on her face.’
    • ‘He could see the shocked expression in her eyes turn to hurt.’
    • ‘When he came back to our room he wore a pained expression on his face.’
    • ‘Miguel saw her happy facial expression falter and knew something was up.’
    • ‘Noticing her worried expression, the new boy walked up to her.’
    • ‘His expression hardened and he met her golden gaze with a crystalline blue one.’
    • ‘Mother's expression brightened when she saw Michael.’
    • ‘The man's apologetic expression melted into recognition.’
    look, appearance, air, manner, bearing, countenance, guise, cast, aspect, impression
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  • 3A word or phrase, especially an idiomatic one, used to convey an idea.

    ‘nowhere is the expression “garbage in, garbage out” any truer’
    • ‘As a result, many of the phrases and expressions were translated into something very different in the subtitles or dubbing.’
    • ‘His stated object was to remove from the works ‘only those words and expressions which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family’.’
    • ‘He scatters his French with convenient English words and expressions and has an infectious humour which translates well.’
    • ‘The emphasis is on learning simple words and expressions while building vocabulary rather than grammar.’
    • ‘To increase the bamboozling affect I like to throw in words and expressions I hardly ever used when living in Australia.’
    • ‘Everyday we receive more than 200 words and expressions, some of them are even disappearing phrases.’
    • ‘They converse in strange tongues, using words and expressions that are totally alien to me.’
    • ‘Linking r, common in many non-rhotic dialects of English, occurs in New England in expressions like the idea/r of it.’
    • ‘Mother had other words and expressions that I have never heard used by anyone else.’
    • ‘She loves interesting expressions, intriguing phrases and gets very excited when I describe a character in the book as a diamond geezer.’
    • ‘It might not be a bad idea to review your own favorite phrases and expressions occasionally and replace them with fresh variations.’
    • ‘Whenever I used new words and expressions in my poems, my teacher would ask where I learnt them from.’
    • ‘It also contains one of the most comprehensive glossaries of local words and expressions to be found outside specialist books.’
    • ‘The first two are internal, one with simple word stems and the other with complex or idiomatic expressions.’
    • ‘He has a thing for knock-knock jokes with no punch line and often misuses words and expressions.’
    • ‘We all start out using the simplest expressions and watch our phrases become increasingly more precise.’
    • ‘I had asked him for permission to proceed, as I need to consult with him in matters of expressions and code words used by teens.’
    • ‘Spurred by fashion, an increasing number opt to sprinkle our daily Bahasa Indonesia with foreign words and expressions.’
    • ‘In other words they are expressions that generally need explanations to be understood.’
    • ‘What about all those words and expressions that are absolutely untranslatable?’
    idiom, phrase, idiomatic expression, set phrase
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    1. 3.1Mathematics A collection of symbols that jointly express a quantity.
      ‘the expression for the circumference of a circle is 2πr’
      • ‘Napier also found exponential expressions for trigonometric functions, and introduced the decimal notation for fractions.’
      • ‘The function is also most often described using a formula, in the form of an algebraic expression.’
      • ‘The first book studies generating functions and also approximations to various expressions occurring in probability theory.’
      • ‘These calculations not only involved difficult mathematical expressions but also dealt with heavy arithmetical calculations.’
      • ‘Since the algebraic expressions for the roots z are rather complicated, we use numerical approximations from here on.’
  • 4The production of something, especially by pressing or squeezing it out.

    ‘essential oils obtained by distillation or expression’
    squeezing, pressing, wringing, forcing out, extraction, extracting
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  • 5Genetics
    The appearance in a phenotype of a characteristic or effect attributed to a particular gene.

    • ‘Recent data has shown that women can have full phenotypic expression of HH, including cirrhosis.’
    • ‘All six genes putatively involved in biosynthetic processes have detectable expression.’
    • ‘These two genes are both thought to be very important in the expression of the malignant phenotype.’
    • ‘It is thought to be a multigene dominant condition with variable phenotypic expression.’
    • ‘As gene frequencies change, natural selection acts on the outcome, the expression of those genes.’
    1. 5.1 The process by which possession of a gene leads to the appearance in the phenotype of the corresponding character.
      • ‘Manipulating the expression of genes in eukaryotic cells is so easy because transcribing eukaryotic genes is so hard.’
      • ‘We show that random fluctuations in gene expression can propagate to the level of metabolic processes.’
      • ‘Natural selection acts on multiple processes to optimize gene expression.’
      • ‘These mechanisms are crucial links between the molecular biology of gene expression and life-history.’
      • ‘This process of gene expression occurs in all organisms, from bacteria to plants to humans.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin expressio(n-), from exprimere ‘press out, express’. Compare with express.

Pronunciation

expression

/ikˈspreSHən//ɪkˈsprɛʃən/