1. a speech or written statement, usually formal, directed to a particular group of persons: the president’s address on the state of the economy.
  2. a direction as to the intended recipient, written on or attached to a piece of mail.
  3. 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?
  4. manner of speaking to persons; personal bearing in conversation.
  5. skillful and expeditious management; ready skill; dispatch: to handle a matter with address.
  6. Computers.
    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
  7. Government. a request to the executive by the legislature to remove a judge for unfitness.
  8. Usually addresses. attentions paid by a suitor or lover; courtship.
  9. (usually initial capital letter) the reply to the king’s speech in the English Parliament.
  10. Obsolete. preparation.

verb (used with object), ad·dressed, ad·dress·ing.

  1. to direct a speech or written statement to: to address an assembly.
  2. to use a specified form or title in speaking or writing to: Address the president as “Mr. President.”
  3. to direct to the attention: He addressed his remarks to the lawyers in the audience.
  4. to apply in speech (used reflexively, usually followed by to): He addressed himself to the leader.
  5. to deal with or discuss: to address the issues.
  6. to put the directions for delivery on: to address a letter.
  7. Commerce. to consign or entrust to the care of another, as agent or factor.
  8. to direct the energy or efforts of (usually followed by to): He addressed himself to the task.
  9. to direct (data) to a specified location in an electronic computer.
  10. Golf. to take a stance and place the head of the club behind (the ball) preparatory to hitting it.
  11. Obsolete. to woo; court.
  12. Archaic. to give direction to; aim.
  13. Obsolete. to prepare.

verb (used without object), ad·dressed or ad·drest, ad·dress·ing. Obsolete.

  1. to make an appeal.
  2. to make preparations.


  1. the conventional form by which the location of a building is described
  2. 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
  3. the place at which someone lives
  4. a speech or written communication, esp one of a formal nature
  5. skilfulness or tact
  6. archaic manner or style of speaking or conversation
  7. computing a number giving the location of a piece of stored informationSee also direct access
  8. British government a statement of the opinions or wishes of either or both Houses of Parliament that is sent to the sovereign
  9. the alignment or position of a part, component, etc, that permits correct assembly or fitting
  10. (usually plural) expressions of affection made by a man in courting a woman

verb -dresses, -dressing or -dressed or obsolete, or poetic -drest (tr)

  1. to mark (a letter, parcel, etc) with an address
  2. to speak to, refer to in speaking, or deliver a speech to
  3. (used reflexively; foll by to)
    1. to speak or write tohe addressed himself to the chairman
    2. to apply oneself tohe addressed himself to the task
  4. to direct (a message, warning, etc) to the attention of
  5. to consign or entrust (a ship or a ship’s cargo) to a factor, merchant, etc
  6. to adopt a position facing (the ball in golf, a partner in a dance, the target in archery, etc)
  7. to treat of; deal withchapter 10 addresses the problem of transitivity
  8. an archaic word for woo

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).


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.

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