Definition of expression in English:

expression

Syllabification: ex·pres·sion
Pronunciation: /ikˈspreSHən
 
/

noun

  • 1The process of making known one’s thoughts or feelings: his views found expression in his moral sermons she accepted his expressions of sympathy
    More example sentences
    • It found expression in ruthless exclusivism and hegemony.
    • It's as if everything inside me has found expression all at once.
    • The bipartisan contempt for the needs of the working class also found expression in the reaction to the mayor's latest housing proposals.
    Synonyms
    utterance, uttering, voicing, pronouncement, declaration, articulation, assertion, setting forth; dissemination, circulation, communication, spreading, promulgationindication, demonstration, show, exhibition, token; communication, illustration, revelation
  • 1.1The 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
    More example sentences
    • For anyone who cares about music or artistic expression these presentations are riveting.
    • 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.
    • Ask any musician and they will tell you that music is about expression and conveying emotion.
    Synonyms
    emotion, feeling, spirit, passion, intensity; style, intonation, tone
  • 2The look on someone’s face that conveys a particular emotion: a sad expression
    More example sentences
    • Walter sat and watched Richard's pensive face as he read, which eventually led to an expression of horror and fury.
    • Jade nodded with a contemplative expression and led him down to the lower floors.
    • Miguel saw her happy facial expression falter and knew something was up.
    Synonyms
    look, appearance, air, manner, countenance, mien
  • 3A word or phrase, especially an idiomatic one, used to convey an idea: nowhere is the expression “garbage in, garbage out” any truer
    More example sentences
    • The first two are internal, one with simple word stems and the other with complex or idiomatic expressions.
    • The emphasis is on learning simple words and expressions while building vocabulary rather than grammar.
    • We all start out using the simplest expressions and watch our phrases become increasingly more precise.
    Synonyms
    idiom, phrase, idiomatic expression; proverb, saying, adage, maxim, axiom, aphorism, saw, motto, platitude, cliché
  • 3.1 Mathematics A collection of symbols that jointly express a quantity: the expression for the circumference of a circle is 2πr
    More example sentences
    • The first book studies generating functions and also approximations to various expressions occurring in probability theory.
    • 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.
  • 5 Genetics The appearance in a phenotype of a characteristic or effect attributed to a particular gene.
    More example sentences
    • These two genes are both thought to be very important in the expression of the malignant phenotype.
    • All six genes putatively involved in biosynthetic processes have detectable expression.
    • As gene frequencies change, natural selection acts on the outcome, the expression of those genes.
  • 5.1 (also gene expression) The process by which possession of a gene leads to the appearance in the phenotype of the corresponding character.
    More example sentences
    • This process of gene expression occurs in all organisms, from bacteria to plants to humans.
    • These mechanisms are crucial links between the molecular biology of gene expression and life-history.
    • Natural selection acts on multiple processes to optimize gene expression.

Derivatives

expressional

Pronunciation: /ekˈspreSHnəl/
adjective
More example sentences
  • His procedure was most carefully calculated in every respect to attain the maximum expressional power possible.
  • This narrative style is maintained throughout, with the expressional sophistication laid over the voices by often colourful orchestral means.
  • Throughout the book, she demonstrates the usefulness of drawing as an expressional tool for patients who are unable or unwilling to express themselves through the conventional use of language.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin expressio(n-), from exprimere 'press out, express'. Compare with express1.

More definitions of expression

Definition of expression in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw