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verb di·rect \də-ˈrekt, dī-\

Simple Definition of direct

  • : to cause (someone or something) to turn, move, or point in a particular way

  • : to cause (someone's attention, thoughts, emotions, etc.) to relate to a particular person, thing, goal, etc.

  • : to say (something) to a particular person or group

Full Definition of direct

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a obsolete :  to write (a letter) to a person b :  to mark with the name and address of the intended recipient c :  to impart orally d :  to adapt in expression so as to have particular applicability <arguments directed at the emotions>

  3. 2 a :  to regulate the activities or course of b :  to carry out the organizing, energizing, and supervising of <direct a project> c :  to dominate and determine the course of d :  to train and lead performances of <direct a movie>

  4. 3 :  to cause to turn, move, or point undeviatingly or to follow a straight course <X-rays directed through the body>

  5. 4 :  to point, extend, or project in a specified line or course <direct the nozzle down>

  6. 5 :  to request or enjoin with authority <the judge directed the jury to acquit>

  7. 6 :  to show or point out the way for <signs directing us to the entrance>

  8. intransitive verb
  9. 1 :  to point out, prescribe, or determine a course or procedure

  10. 2 :  to act as director

Examples of direct

  1. Be sure that the water nozzle is directed downward.

  2. The sloping ground helps direct water away from the home.

  3. Let me direct your attention to the book's second chapter.

  4. We were asked to direct our thoughts and prayers to the people who survived the disaster.

  5. The students directed their efforts toward improving their community.

  6. A lot of the criticism has been directed toward the concert's organizers.

  7. He is responsible for directing the activities of the sales team.

  8. In my current position, I direct a staff of over 200 employees.

  9. We need someone to direct traffic.

Origin of direct

Middle English, from Anglo-French directer, from Latin directus straight, from past participle of dirigere to direct — more at dress

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of direct

command, order, bid, enjoin, direct, instruct, charge mean to issue orders. command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality. command stresses official exercise of authority <a general commanding troops>. order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise <ordered his employees about like slaves>. bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants) <she bade him be seated>. enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude <a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet>. direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality <directed her assistant to hold all calls> <the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark>. charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility <charged by the President with a secret mission>.

conduct, manage, control, direct mean to use one's powers to lead, guide, or dominate. conduct implies taking responsibility for the acts and achievements of a group <conducted negotiations>. manage implies direct handling and manipulating or maneuvering toward a desired result <manages a meat market>. control implies a regulating or restraining in order to keep within bounds or on a course <controlling his appetite>. direct implies constant guiding and regulating so as to achieve smooth operation <directs the store's day-to-day business>.



adjective di·rect

Simple Definition of direct

  • : going the shortest distance from one place to another : going straight without turning or stopping

  • : coming straight from a source

  • : coming straight from a cause or reason : connected or related to something in a clear way

Full Definition of direct

  1. 1 :  having or being motion in the general planetary direction from west to east :  not retrograde

  2. 2 a :  stemming immediately from a source <direct result> b :  being or passing in a straight line of descent from parent to offspring :  lineal <direct ancestor> c :  having no compromising or impairing element <a direct insult>

  3. 3 a :  proceeding from one point to another in time or space without deviation or interruption :  straight <a direct line> b :  proceeding by the shortest way <the direct route>

  4. 4 :  natural, straightforward <a direct manner>

  5. 5 a :  marked by absence of an intervening agency, instrumentality, or influence <making direct observations of nature> b :  effected by the action of the people or the electorate and not by representatives <direct democracy> c :  consisting of or reproducing the exact words of a speaker or writer <a direct quotation>

  6. 6 :  characterized by close logical, causal, or consequential relationship <direct evidence>

  7. 7 :  capable of dyeing without the aid of a mordant

Examples of direct

  1. I found a more direct route to the city.

  2. That way is more direct.

  3. Keep these plants out of direct sunlight.

  4. The coastline was exposed to the direct force of the hurricane.

  5. The weather had a direct effect on our plans.

  6. There's a direct connection between the two events.

  7. The investigation began in direct response to the newspaper story.

Origin of direct

Middle English, from Latin directus

First Known Use: 15th century



adverb di·rect

Simple Definition of direct

  • : in a straight line without turning or stopping

  • : straight from a source with nothing and nobody in between

Full Definition of direct

  1. :  in a direct way: as a :  from point to point without deviation :  by the shortest way <flew direct to Miami> b :  from the source without interruption or diversion <the writer must take his material direct from life — Douglas Stewart> c :  without an intervening agency or step <buy direct from the manufacturer>

Examples of direct

  1. It costs less if you buy it direct from the manufacturer.

  2. <flew direct to the coast>

14th Century

First Known Use of direct

14th century

Seen and Heard

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February 14, 2016

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