use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

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:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

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.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

ad·dress (ə-drĕs)
Share:
tr.v. ad·dressed, ad·dress·ing, ad·dress·es
1. To speak to: addressed me in low tones.
2. To make a formal speech to: addressed the union members at the convention.
3. To call (a person to whom one is speaking) by a particular name or term: Address the judge as "Your Honor."
4. To direct (a spoken or written message) to the attention of: address a protest to the faculty senate.
5. To mark with a destination: address a letter.
6.
a. To direct the efforts or attention of (oneself): address oneself to a task.
b. To begin to deal with: addressed the issue of taxes.
7. To dispatch or consign (a ship, for example) to an agent or factor.
8. Sports To adjust and aim the club at (a golf ball) in preparing for a stroke.
n. (ə-drĕs, ădrĕs)
1.
a. A description of the location of a person or organization, as written or printed on mail as directions for delivery: wrote the address on the envelope.
b. The location at which a particular organization or person may be found or reached: went to her address but no one was home.
2.
a. A name or a sequence of characters that designates an email account or a specific site on the internet or other network.
b. A name or number used in information storage or retrieval assigned to or identifying a specific memory location.
3. A formal speech or written communication.
4. (ə-drĕs) Archaic
a. often addresses Courteous attentions.
b. The manner or bearing of a person, especially in conversation.
c. Skill, deftness, or grace in dealing with people or situations: "With the charms of beauty she combined the address of an accomplished intriguer" (Charles Merivale).

[Middle English adressen, to direct, from Old French adresser, from Vulgar Latin *addīrēctiāre : Latin ad-, ad- + Vulgar Latin *dīrēctiāre, to straighten (from Latin dīrēctus, past participle of dīrigere, to direct; see DIRECT).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.