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[noun uh-dres, ad-res; verb uh-dres] /noun əˈdrɛs, ˈæd rɛs; verb əˈdrɛs/
a speech or written statement, usually formal, directed to a particular group of persons:
the president's address on the state of the economy.
a direction as to the intended recipient, written on or attached to a piece of mail.
the place or the name of the place where a person, organization, or the like is located or may be reached:
What is your address when you're in Des Moines?
manner of speaking to persons; personal bearing in conversation.
skillful and expeditious management; ready skill; dispatch:
to handle a matter with address.
  1. a label, as an integer, symbol, or other set of characters, designating a location, register, etc., where information is stored in computer memory.
  2. a set of characters designating an email account: Her email address ends in “.net,” not “.com.”.
  3. a set of characters designating the location of a website or a particular computer or other device on a network:
    He visits that website so often that its complete address comes up whenever he types its first letter into the address bar.
    See also URL.
Government. a request to the executive by the legislature to remove a judge for unfitness.
Usually, addresses. attentions paid by a suitor or lover; courtship.
(usually initial capital letter) the reply to the king's speech in the English Parliament.
Obsolete. preparation.
verb (used with object), addressed, addressing.
to direct a speech or written statement to:
to address an assembly.
to use a specified form or title in speaking or writing to: Address the president as “Mr. President.”.
to direct to the attention:
He addressed his remarks to the lawyers in the audience.
to apply in speech (used reflexively, usually followed by to):
He addressed himself to the leader.
to deal with or discuss:
to address the issues.
to put the directions for delivery on:
to address a letter.
Commerce. to consign or entrust to the care of another, as agent or factor.
to direct the energy or efforts of (usually followed by to):
He addressed himself to the task.
to direct (data) to a specified location in an electronic computer.
Golf. to take a stance and place the head of the club behind (the ball) preparatory to hitting it.
Obsolete. to woo; court.
Archaic. to give direction to; aim.
Obsolete. to prepare.
verb (used without object), addressed or addrest, addressing. Obsolete.
to make an appeal.
to make preparations.
Origin of address
1300-50; Middle English adressen to adorn < Middle French adresser. See a-5, dress
Related forms
addresser, addressor, noun
half-addressed, adjective
preaddress, noun, verb (used with object)
readdress, verb (used with object), readdressed, readdressing.
unaddressed, adjective
well-addressed, adjective
1. discourse, lecture. See speech. 5. adroitness, cleverness, ingenuity, tact. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for address
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "By George, I forgot the fact that the card had an address on it," Baker exclaimed.

    The Film of Fear Arnold Fredericks
  • Billy, go up to the address he gives you, and get some of these se-gars.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The individual whom I address is probably the most popular beggar in the town.

  • But I concluded the mistake lay in the person; and that his address was to Miss Arabella.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The parcel should have the words "By Parcel Post," plainlywritten on the address.

British Dictionary definitions for address


the conventional form by which the location of a building is described
the written form of this, as on a letter or parcel, preceded by the name of the person or organization for whom it is intended
the place at which someone lives
a speech or written communication, esp one of a formal nature
skilfulness or tact
(archaic) manner or style of speaking or conversation
(computing) a number giving the location of a piece of stored information See also direct access
(Brit, government) a statement of the opinions or wishes of either or both Houses of Parliament that is sent to the sovereign
the alignment or position of a part, component, etc, that permits correct assembly or fitting
(usually pl) expressions of affection made by a man in courting a woman
verb (transitive) -dresses, -dressing, -dressed (obsolete or poetic) -drest
to mark (a letter, parcel, etc) with an address
to speak to, refer to in speaking, or deliver a speech to
(used reflexively; foll by to)
  1. to speak or write to: he addressed himself to the chairman
  2. to apply oneself to: he addressed himself to the task
to direct (a message, warning, etc) to the attention of
to consign or entrust (a ship or a ship's cargo) to a factor, merchant, etc
to adopt a position facing (the ball in golf, a partner in a dance, the target in archery, etc)
to treat of; deal with: chapter 10 addresses the problem of transitivity
an archaic word for woo
Derived Forms
addresser, addressor, noun
Word Origin
C14: (in the sense: to make right, adorn) and c15 (in the modern sense: to direct words): via Old French from Vulgar Latin addrictiāre (unattested) to make straight, direct oneself towards, from Latin ad- to + dīrectusdirect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for address

early 14c., "to guide or direct," from Old French adrecier "go straight toward; straighten, set right; point, direct" (13c.), from Vulgar Latin *addirectiare "make straight," from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + *directiare, from Latin directus "straight, direct" (see direct (v.)). Late 14c. as "to set in order, repair, correct." Meaning "to write as a destination on a written message" is from mid-15c. Meaning "to direct spoken words (to someone)" is from late 15c. Related: Addressed; addressing.


1530s, "dutiful or courteous approach," from address (v.) and from French adresse. Sense of "formal speech" is from 1751. Sense of "superscription of a letter" is from 1712 and led to the meaning "place of residence" (1888).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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address in Technology

1. e-mail address.
2. IP address.
3. MAC address.
4. An unsigned integer used to select one fundamental element of storage, usually known as a word from a computer's main memory or other storage device. The CPU outputs addresses on its address bus which may be connected to an address decoder, cache controller, memory management unit, and other devices.
While from a hardware point of view an address is indeed an integer most strongly typed programming languages disallow mixing integers and addresses, and indeed addresses of different data types. This is a fine example for syntactic salt: the compiler could work without it but makes writing bad programs more difficult.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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