tr.v. ex·pressed, ex·press·ing, ex·press·es
a. To set forth in words; state: express an opinion.
b. To manifest or communicate, as by a gesture; show: expressed his anger with a frown. See Synonyms at voice.
c. To make known the feelings or opinions of (oneself), as by statement or art.
2. To convey or suggest a representation of; depict: The painting expresses the rage of war victims.
3. To represent by a sign, symbol, number, or formula: express a fraction as a decimal.
4. To squeeze or press out, as juice from an orange.
5. To send by special messenger or rapid transport: express a package to Los Angeles.
a. To synthesize (a product, especially a protein) encoded by a gene: a gene that expresses an enzyme.
b. To manifest the effects of (a gene): Half of the people who inherit the gene express it.
c. To manifest (a genetic trait): All the mice in the study expressed the defect.
1. Definitely and explicitly stated: their express wish. See Synonyms at explicit.
2. Particular; specific: an express plan.
a. Rapid and having few or no stops or interruptions: express delivery of packages; an express bus.
b. Of, relating to, or appropriate for rapid travel: express lanes on a freeway.
c. Designed for use in an express rifle: an express bullet.
By express delivery or transport.
a. A rapid, efficient system for the delivery of goods and mail.
b. Goods and mail conveyed by such a system.
2. A means of transport, such as a train, that travels rapidly and makes few or no stops before its destination.
3. Chiefly British
a. A special messenger.
b. A message delivered by special courier.
[Middle English expressen, from Old French expresser, from Medieval Latin expressāre, frequentative of Latin exprimere : ex-, ex- + premere, to press; see per-4 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.