What does expression mean?

Definitions for expression
ɪkˈsprɛʃ ənex·pres·sion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word expression.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. expression, look, aspect, facial expression, facenoun

    the feelings expressed on a person's face

    "a sad expression"; "a look of triumph"; "an angry face"

  2. expression, manifestation, reflection, reflexionnoun

    expression without words

    "tears are an expression of grief"; "the pulse is a reflection of the heart's condition"

  3. expression, verbal expression, verbalismnoun

    the communication (in speech or writing) of your beliefs or opinions

    "expressions of good will"; "he helped me find verbal expression for my ideas"; "the idea was immediate but the verbalism took hours"

  4. saying, expression, locutionnoun

    a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations

    "pardon the expression"

  5. formulation, expressionnoun

    the style of expressing yourself

    "he suggested a better formulation"; "his manner of expression showed how much he cared"

  6. formula, expressionnoun

    a group of symbols that make a mathematical statement

  7. expressionnoun

    (genetics) the process of expressing a gene

  8. construction, grammatical construction, expressionnoun

    a group of words that form a constituent of a sentence and are considered as a single unit

    "I concluded from his awkward constructions that he was a foreigner"

  9. expressionnoun

    the act of forcing something out by squeezing or pressing

    "the expression of milk from her breast"


  1. Expressionnoun

    (Genetics) the production of products by a gene that cause the appearance of the corresponding protein or phenotype; -- of a gene or of an organism with a specific gene; as, the expression the beta-galactosidase positive phenotype,

  2. Expressionnoun

    (Computers) a combination of characters linked by operators, occurring as part of the code of a computer program, which must be evaluated according to the rules of the computer language in order to produce a resulting value.

  3. Expressionnoun

    (Math.) The representation of any quantity or relation by appropriate characters or symbols, usually in a specific order.


  1. expressionnoun

    A particular way of phrasing an idea.

  2. expressionnoun

    A colloquialism or idiom.

    The expression "break a leg!" should not be taken literally.

  3. expressionnoun

    A facial appearance usually associated with an emotion.

  4. expressionnoun

    An arrangement of symbols denoting values, operations performed on them, and grouping symbols.

  5. expressionnoun

    The process of translating a gene into a protein.

  6. expressionnoun

    A piece of code in a high-level language that returns a value.

  7. expressionnoun

    Of a mother, the process of expressing milk.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Expressionnoun

    Etymology: from express.

    There is nothing comparable to the variety of instructive expressions by speech, wherewith a man alone is endowed, as with an instrument suitable to the excellency of his soul, for the communication of his thoughts. William Holder, Elem. of Speech.

    But ill expression sometimes gives allay
    To noble thoughts, whose flame shall ne’er decay. John Sheffield Buckingham.

    The poet, to reconcile Helen to his reader, brings her in as a penitent, condemning her own infidelity in very strong expressions. Notes on the Odyssey.

    Those juices that are so fleshy, as they cannot make drink by expression, yet may make drink by mixture of water. Francis Bacon.

    The juices of the leaves are obtained by expression: from this juice proceeds the taste. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.


  1. Expression

    Expression is the lead single released from Salt-n-Pepas third album, Blacks' Magic. The song was both written and produced by member Cheryl "Salt" James. The song became the group's second single to reach the top 40 in the United States, peaking at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 while also topping the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, becoming their first song to do so. The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on February 28, 1990, before reaching platinum status less than three months later, on May 25. In 1992 a re-release charted within the top 30 in Ireland and the United Kingdom and peaked at number 13 in France. The music video is notable for marking the directorial debut of director Millicent Shelton.


  1. expression

    An expression refers to a combination of variables, constants, operators, and functions that are arranged in a specific manner to produce a value or a result. It can be a mathematical or logical representation used in various fields, such as mathematics, computer programming, and language. Expressions can be as simple as a single variable or complex as a combination of multiple elements, connected by operators and functions. They are often used to perform calculations, comparisons, or evaluations.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Expressionnoun

    the act of expressing; the act of forcing out by pressure; as, the expression of juices or oils; also, of extorting or eliciting; as, a forcible expression of truth

  2. Expressionnoun

    the act of declaring or signifying; declaration; utterance; as, an expression of the public will

  3. Expressionnoun

    lively or vivid representation of meaning, sentiment, or feeling, etc.; significant and impressive indication, whether by language, appearance, or gesture; that manner or style which gives life and suggestive force to ideas and sentiments; as, he reads with expression; her performance on the piano has expression

  4. Expressionnoun

    that which is expressed by a countenance, a posture, a work of art, etc.; look, as indicative of thought or feeling

  5. Expressionnoun

    a form of words in which an idea or sentiment is conveyed; a mode of speech; a phrase; as, a common expression; an odd expression

  6. Expressionnoun

    the representation of any quantity by its appropriate characters or signs

  7. Etymology: [L. expressio: cf. F. expression.]


  1. Expression

    In mathematics, an expression is a finite combination of symbols that is well-formed according to rules that depend on the context. Symbols can designate numbers, variables, operations, functions, and other mathematical symbols, as well as punctuation, symbols of grouping, and other syntactic symbols. The use of expressions can range from the simple: to the complex: We can think of algebraic expressions as generalizations of common arithmetic operations that are formed by combining numbers, variables, and mathematical operations. Some common examples follow: Linear expression: . Quadratic expression: . Rational expression: . Strings of symbols that violate the rules of syntax are not well-formed and are not valid mathematical expressions. For example: would not be considered a mathematical expression but only a meaningless jumble. In algebra an expression may be used to designate a value, which might depend on values assigned to variables occurring in the expression; the determination of this value depends on the semantics attached to the symbols of the expression. These semantic rules may declare that certain expressions do not designate any value; such expressions are said to have an undefined value, but they are well-formed expressions nonetheless. In general the meaning of expressions is not limited to designating values; for instance, an expression might designate a condition, or an equation that is to be solved, or it can be viewed as an object in its own right that can be manipulated according to certain rules. Certain expressions that designate a value simultaneously express a condition that is assumed to hold, for instance those involving the operator to designate an internal direct sum.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. expression

    1. That mode of creation by which we coin things out of our hearts. (Nothing is of any value except that which you create for yourself, and no joy is joy save as it is the joy of self-expression.) 2. Mind speaking through its highest instrument, Man.

Editors Contribution

  1. expression

    The act and ability to express data, ideas, information, facts and statistics easily, effectively and efficiently.

    Self expression is a valued human ability and gift we really value.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 3, 2020  

  2. expression

    The act and ability to express how we feel, what we know and understand easily, effectively and efficiently.

    Our expression of our love, unity, passion and determination for the optimum health and shared prosperity of all on planet earth is so visible to us all.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 9, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'expression' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1349

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'expression' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3241

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'expression' in Nouns Frequency: #541

How to pronounce expression?

How to say expression in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of expression in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of expression in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of expression in a Sentence

  1. Author Unknown:

    Find expression for a sorrow and it will become dear to you. Find expression for a joy, and you will intensify its ecstasy.

  2. Philip Luther:

    This is a farcical verdict which strikes at the heart of freedom of expression in Egypt, today's verdict must be overturned immediately -- Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed should be allowed to walk free without conditions. We consider them to be prisoners of conscience, jailed solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

  3. James Thurber:

    I loathe the expression "What makes him tick." It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.

  4. Gary Reback:

    It’s a strong expression of the fact that things are going to change.

  5. Jack Dorsey:

    We believe our purpose is to serve the public conversation, and that does take a stance around freedom of expression and defending freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for expression

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"expression." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 8 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/expression>.

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    a motley assortment of things
    • A. hodgepodge
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