Express Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Express, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Express?

adj. Explicit, unequivocal, distinctive language that does not require interpretation.

History and Meaning of Express

The term "express" is commonly used in legal contexts to refer to language that is clear and definitive, and which requires no interpretation or inference to understand. In other words, it refers to language that is straightforward and explicit, leaving no doubt as to its meaning. This can be contrasted with language that is ambiguous, vague, or open to interpretation, which can lead to confusion or disputes.

The use of the term "express" in legal contexts dates back at least to the early 19th century, if not earlier. It reflects a long-standing desire within the legal system to create clear and unambiguous rules and guidelines that can be easily understood and followed by all parties involved. The idea is that by using express language, legal documents can minimize the risk of misinterpretation or misunderstanding, and provide a reliable framework for resolving disputes.

Examples of Express

Here are some examples of how the term "express" might be used in different legal contexts:

  • An employment contract might include an express provision stating that the employee is an "at-will" employee, meaning they can be terminated at any time for any reason.
  • A zoning ordinance might contain an express definition of what constitutes a "residential" area, and what activities are allowed or prohibited within that area.
  • A will might include an express provision stating that certain assets should be distributed to a specific person or charity, rather than being divided among the heirs.
  • A lease agreement might contain an express provision detailing what types of improvements or modifications the tenant is allowed to make to the property, and what kind of notice must be given to the landlord.

Legal Terms Similar to Express

Here are some related terms that are commonly used in legal contexts:

  • Implied: This refers to language or terms that are not explicitly stated in a legal document, but are nonetheless understood or implied based on the context or circumstances.
  • Ambiguous: This refers to language that is open to more than one interpretation, and can lead to confusion or disputes.
  • Unilateral: This refers to actions or decisions made by only one party, without the agreement or input of others.
  • Bilateral: This refers to actions or decisions made by two parties, often through a mutual agreement or contract.