address (oneself) to (someone or something)
1. To speak to a specific person or group at the exclusion of others. Right now, I'm only addressing myself to the graduating seniors. I'll talk to the other grades tomorrow. Some of the professors who doubted my research topic will be in attendance at my lecture, and I would really like to address myself directly to them! I suppose I better address myself to my employees before they hear of my resignation from another source.
2. To focus on a certain problem or situation. I needed to address myself to the burst pipe in my basement—that's why I didn't attend the dinner party. Sorry to interrupt, but there's smoke coming out of the oven. Seems like you might want to address yourself to that first. Do you think the mayor will ever address himself to repairing these shoddy roads?
address (something) to (one)
1. To direct or express thoughts or opinions to a person or group. If you're trying to get donations for the school, address your speech to the parents, not the recent graduates. As these seem to be recurring issues, I need to address the complaints to my whole department. Some of the professors who doubted my research topic will be in attendance at my lecture, and I would really like to address my remarks directly to them!
2. To put the recipient's name and address on a package or envelope to be mailed. Penny addressed the package to her brother before taking it to the post office. Sometimes, I address Ed's Christmas card to him and his cat, just to give him a chuckle. Ooh, it looks like this letter from the school is addressed to "the parents of Brandon Smith." What did you do, Bro?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
address something to someone
to write someone's name and address on an envelope, package, letter, etc. Gilbert addressed the envelope to Walter.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To indicate that something is to be sent to someone or some place by writing an address on it: She addressed the letter to her brother.
2. To say something directly to some specific person or group: The school president addressed the speech to everyone who plans to graduate this year.
3. To focus someone on a problem in order to find a solution. Used reflexively: In the next meeting, the town officials will address themselves to the issue of privacy.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.