Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary




Synonyms and Antonyms of direction

  1. 1 a statement of what to do that must be obeyed by those concerned <we were given very specific directions for the first part of the exam> Synonyms behest, charge, commandment, decree, dictate, command, directive, do, edict, imperative, injunction, instruction, order, wordRelated Words demand, requirement; mandate; countermand, counterorder; law, precept, prescript, prescription, rule; ordinance, regulation, statuteNear Antonyms appeal, entreaty, petition, plea, urging; proposal, recommendation, suggestion

  2. 2 the act or activity of looking after and making decisions about something <working under the close direction of the engineering supervisor> Synonyms administration, care, charge, control, conduct, governance, government, guidance, handling, intendance, management, operation, oversight, presidency, regulation, running, stewardship, superintendence, superintendency, supervisionRelated Words generalship, leadership, rulership; agency; aegis (also egis), custody, guardianship, keeping, lap, protection, safekeeping, trust, tutelage, ward; engineering, logistics, machination, manipulation; coadministration, codirection, comanagement

  3. 3 a guiding or motivating purpose or principle <a life that seemed to lack any direction other than the mindless pursuit of empty pleasures> Synonyms cynosure, compass, focus, lodestar (also loadstar), polestarRelated Words benchmark, criterion, grade, mark, measure, par, standard, touchstone, yardstick; aim, ambition, aspiration, dream, goal, intention, object, objective, purpose, target

  4. 4 a prevailing or general movement or inclination <some older people worry about the overall direction that political discourse has taken lately> Synonyms current, trend, drift, leaning, run, tendency, tide, windRelated Words curve, downside, shift, swing, turn, turnabout, upside; custom, habit, propensity, tenor, way; countercurrent, countertrend; undercurrent, undertow

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up direction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a secret group of plotters

Get Word of the Day daily email!