A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ik-spresh-uh n] /ɪkˈsprɛʃ ən/
the act of expressing or setting forth in words:
the free expression of political opinions.
a particular word, phrase, or form of words:
old-fashioned expressions.
the manner or form in which a thing is expressed in words; wording; phrasing:
delicacy of expression.
the power of expressing in words:
joy beyond expression.
indication of feeling, spirit, character, etc., as on the face, in the voice, or in artistic execution:
the lyric expression embodied in his poetry.
a look or intonation expressing personal reaction, feeling, etc.:
a shocked expression.
the quality or power of expressing an attitude, emotion, etc.:
a face that lacks expression; to read with expression.
the act of expressing or representing, as by symbols.
Mathematics. a symbol or a combination of symbols representing a value, relation, or the like.
Linguistics. the stylistic characteristics of an utterance (opposed to meaning).
Linguistics. the system of verbal utterances specific to a language (opposed to content).
the act of expressing or pressing out.
Computers. a combination of variables, constants, and functions linked by operation symbols and any required punctuation that describe a rule for calculating a value.
  1. the action of a gene in the production of a protein or a phenotype.
  2. expressivity (def 2).
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin expressiōn- (stem of expressiō) a pressing out. See express, -ion
Related forms
expressional, adjective
expressionless, adjective
expressionlessly, adverb
preexpression, noun
reexpression, noun
superexpression, noun
1. utterance, declaration, assertion, statement. 2. term, idiom. See phrase. 3. language, diction, phraseology. 5. manifestation, sign. 6. aspect, air. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for expressions
  • In the past, scientists have said that human emotions are communicated mainly by facial expressions.
  • They are all expressions of a living planet, still changing after billions of years of existence.
  • The participants were to point to photos of faces showing the relevant expressions.
  • They found not one, but thousands of clay soldiers, each with unique facial expressions and positioned according to rank.
  • expressions of devotion, the lamps are believed to dispel the darkness of ignorance.
  • Please accept our deepest sympathy and expressions of condolence.
  • Good players rarely stretch or change their expressions.
  • It is a part of the normal diversity of children's behaviors and expressions.
  • Certain artistic expressions are independent of scale.
  • Many were children accompanied by their parents, who wore hopeful expressions.
British Dictionary definitions for expressions


the act or an instance of transforming ideas into words
a manifestation of an emotion, feeling, etc, without words: tears are an expression of grief
communication of emotion through music, painting, etc
a look on the face that indicates mood or emotion: a joyful expression
the choice of words, phrases, syntax, intonation, etc, in communicating
a particular phrase used conventionally to express something: a dialect expression
the act or process of forcing or squeezing out a liquid
(maths) a variable, function, or some combination of constants, variables, or functions
(genetics) the effect of a particular gene on the phenotype
Derived Forms
expressional, adjective
expressionless, adjective
expressionlessly, adverb
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 expressions



early 15c., "action of pressing out;" later (mid-15c.) "action of manifesting a feeling;" (late 15c.) "a putting into words," from Middle French expression (14c.), from Late Latin expressionem (nominative expressio), noun of action from past participle stem of exprimere (see express (v.)). Meaning "an action or creation that expresses feelings" is from 1620s. Of the face, from 1774. Occasionally the word also was used literally, for "the action of squeezing out."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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expressions in Medicine

expression ex·pres·sion (ĭk-sprěsh'ən)

  1. The act of pressing or squeezing out.

  2. The outward manifestation of a mood or disposition by mobility of the facial features; facies.

  3. The phenotype manifested by a genotype under fixed environmental conditions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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