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From Middle English adressen (to raise erect, adorn), from Old French adrecier (to straighten, address) (modern French adresser), from a- (Latin ad (to)) + drecier (modern French dresser (to straighten, arrange)) < Vulgar Latin *dīrectiō, from Latin dīrectus (straight or right), from the verb dīrigō, itself from regō (to govern, to rule).



address (plural addresses)

  1. Direction or superscription of a letter, or the name, title, and place of residence of the person addressed.
  2. Act of addressing oneself to a person or group; a discourse or speech.
    • 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, VII:
      Mr. Gregson, who had listened to this address with considerable impatience, could contain himself no longer.
  3. Manner of speaking to another; delivery.
    a man of pleasing or insinuating address
  4. Attention in the way one addresses a lady.
  5. Skill; skillful management; dexterity; adroitness.
    • 1813, "Customs, Manners, and present Appearance of Constantinople", The New Annual Register, or General Repository of History, Politics, and Literature for the year 1812, p. 179 (Google preview):
      At their turning-lathes, they employ their toes to guide the chisel; and, in these pedipulations, shew to Europeans a diverting degree of address.
  6. (obsolete) Act of preparing oneself.
  7. A description of the location of a property.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet. Perhaps we assume that our name, address and search preferences will be viewed by some unseen pair of corporate eyes, probably not human, and don't mind that much.
    the President's address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.
  8. (by extension) The property itself.
    I went to his address but there was nobody there
  9. (computing) A location in computer memory.
    The program will crash if there is no valid data stored at that address.
  10. (Internet) An Internet address; URL.
  11. An email address


The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. Use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}} to add them to the appropriate sense(s).

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


address (third-person singular simple present addresses, present participle addressing, simple past and past participle addressed or (obsolete) addrest)

  1. (intransitive, obsolete) To prepare oneself.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To direct speech.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Dryden
      Young Turnus to the beauteous maid addrest.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To aim; to direct.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To prepare or make ready.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Edmund Spenser
      His foe was soon addressed.
    • (Can we date this quote?), John Dryden
      Turnus addressed his men to single fight.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Jeremy Taylor
      The five foolish virgins addressed themselves at the noise of the bridegroom's coming.
  5. (transitive, reflexive) To prepare oneself; to apply one's skill or energies (to some object); to betake.
  6. (reflexive) To direct one’s remarks (to someone).
    • 1701, Thomas Brown, Laconics, or New Maxims of State and Conversation, London: Thomas Hodgson, section 76, p. 103,[1]
      In the Reign of King Charles the Second, a certain Worthy Divine at Whitehall, thus Address’d himself to the Auditory at the conclusion of his Sermon.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Volume I, Chapter 11,[2]
      He addressed himself directly to Miss Bennet, with a polite congratulation []
    • 1876, Henry Martyn Robert, Robert’s Rules of Order, Chicago: S.C. Griggs & Co., p. 66, Article V, Section 34,[3]
      When any member is about to speak in debate, he shall rise and respectfully address himself to “Mr. Chairman.”
  7. (transitive, archaic) To clothe or array; to dress.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jewel
      Tecla ... addressed herself in man's apparel.
  8. (transitive) To direct, as words, to (anyone or anything); to make, as a speech, petition, etc. to (any audience).
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      The young hero had addressed his players to him for his assistance.
    He addressed some portions of his remarks to his supporters, some to his opponents.
  9. (transitive) To direct speech to; to make a communication to, whether spoken or written; to apply to by words, as by a speech, petition, etc., to speak to; to accost.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Joseph Addison
      Are not your orders to address the senate?
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
      The representatives of the nation addressed the king.
    • 2013 July 19, Peter Wilby, “Finland spreads word on schools”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 30:
      Imagine a country where children do nothing but play until they start compulsory schooling at age seven. Then, without exception, they attend comprehensives until the age of 16. [] Children address teachers by their first names. Even 15-year-olds do no more than 30 minutes' homework a night.
  10. (transitive) To direct in writing, as a letter; to superscribe, or to direct and transmit.
    He addressed a letter.
  11. (transitive) To make suit to as a lover; to court; to woo.
  12. (transitive) To consign or intrust to the care of another, as agent or factor.
    The ship was addressed to a merchant in Baltimore.
  13. (transitive) To address oneself to; to prepare oneself for; to apply oneself to; to direct one's speech or discourse to.
    • 2012 March 1, Lee A. Groat, “Gemstones”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 128:
      Although there are dozens of different types of gems, among the best known and most important are […] . (Common gem materials not addressed in this article include amber, amethyst, chalcedony, garnet, lazurite, malachite, opals, peridot, rhodonite, spinel, tourmaline, turquoise and zircon.)
  14. (transitive, formal) To direct attention towards a problem or obstacle, in an attempt to resolve it.
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in The Guardian:
      "By all means we want people to use social media, but we do not want you to use it in ways that will incite violence," said Jonathan Toy, Southwark council's head of community safety. "This remains a big issue for us and without some form of censorship purely focusing on [violent videos], I'm not sure how we can address it."
  15. (intransitive, computing) To refer a location in computer memory.
  16. (golf, transitive) To get ready to hit (the ball on the tee).

Usage notesEdit

  • The intransitive uses can be understood as omission of the reflexive pronoun.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.