American English

Definition of expression noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    showing feelings/ideas
  1. 1[uncountable, countable] things that people say, write, or do in order to show their feelings, opinions, and ideas an expression of support Expressions of sympathy flooded in from all over the country. Freedom of expression (= freedom to say what you think) is a basic human right. (formal) The poet's anger finds expression in (= is shown in) the last verse of the poem. The riots are the most serious expression of antigovernment feeling yet. Only in his dreams does he give expression to his fears. Their frustration needs some form of expression.
  2. on face
  3. 2[countable] a look on a person's face that shows their thoughts or feelings synonym look There was a worried expression on her face. an expression of amazement/disbelief/horror His expression changed from surprise to one of amusement. The expression in her eyes told me something was wrong. facial expressions
  4. words
  5. 3[countable] a word or phrase an old-fashioned expression (informal) He's a pain in the butt,if you'll pardon the expression. Her writing is full of colorful expressions. Thesauruswordterm phrase expression idiomThese are all words for a unit of language used to express something.word a single unit of language that means something and can be spoken or written:Do not write more than 200 words. He uses a lot of long words.term (somewhat formal) a word or phrase used as the name of something, especially one connected with a particular type of language:technical/legal/scientific terms “Old man” is a slang term for “father.”phrase a group of words that have a particular meaning when used together:Who coined the phrase “desktop publishing” (= used it for the first time)? In grammar, a phrase is a group of words without a finite verb, especially one that forms part of a sentence: “the green car” and “on Friday morning” are phrases.expression a word or phrase:He tends to use lots of new expressions that I've never heard before.idiom a group of words whose meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words:“To let the cat out of the bag” is an idiom meaning to tell a secret by mistake.Patterns a(n) word/term/expression for something a new word/term/phrase/expression a technical/colloquial/slang word/term/phrase/expression an idiomatic phrase/expression to use a(n) word/term/phrase/expression/idiom to coin a(n) word/term/phrase/expression a(n) word/term/phrase/expression/idiom means something
  6. in music/acting
  7. 4[uncountable] a strong show of feeling when you are playing music, speaking, acting, etc. Try to put a little more expression into it! She plays the violin with great expression.
  8. mathematics
  9. 5[countable] a group of signs that represent an idea or a quantity
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: expression

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