di·​rec·​to·​ry | \ də-ˈrek-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce directory (audio) , dī- \

Definition of directory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving to direct specifically : providing advisory but not compulsory guidance


plural directories

Definition of directory (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a book or collection of directions, rules, or ordinances
b : an alphabetical or classified list (as of names and addresses)
2 : a body of directors

Examples of directory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While the game roiled on, three of the top 10 livestreams listed in Twitch’s directory were simulcasts of the FIFA Club World Cup match—with 14,000, 33,000, and 53,000 viewers respectively. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Twitch Has Become a Haven for Live Sports Piracy," 15 Jan. 2020 The church’s online directory lists him as the head pastor of a congregation in Valdosta, a city of 56,000 people in southern Georgia. oregonlive, "DNA links Georgia pastor to 3 sex assaults in Multnomah County, indictment says," 31 Dec. 2019 From Page 17 to Page 55, the directory lists every officiating seven-man crew in Region III. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "PISD football coaches secure their officiating crews for upcoming season," 17 July 2019 Evans is no longer listed in the University of Michigan directory. Aaron Mcmann |, cleveland, "RB Chris Evans will reportedly not play for Michigan in 2019," 3 June 2019 Ensign Peak doesn’t appear in that building’s directory. Rachael Levy, WSJ, "The Mormon Church Amassed $100 Billion. It Was the Best-Kept Secret in the Investment World.," 8 Feb. 2020 The downtown is already designated as a national historical district, which provides protections for the city’s historic buildings and gives Cotulla mention on tourism maps and in national park directories. Randy Diamond, San Antonio Express-News, "Bust Town Gamble," 7 Feb. 2020 The firm has no website and is not listed in national legal directories. Michael Biesecker, Fortune, "Charities steered $65 million to Trump lawyer Sekulow and family," 31 Jan. 2020 Next year, as part of the second phase of the initiative, the company’s internal directory will also allow employees to include preferred pronouns. Renae Merle, Washington Post, "Goldman Sachs launches pronoun initiative, making it easier for employees to identify their gender," 22 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'directory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of directory


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for directory


Middle English directorie guide, from Medieval Latin directorium, from neuter of Late Latin directorius directorial, from Latin dirigere

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Time Traveler for directory

Time Traveler

The first known use of directory was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Directory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for directory



English Language Learners Definition of directory

: a book that contains an alphabetical list of names of people, businesses, etc.


di·​rec·​to·​ry | \ də-ˈrek-tə-rē How to pronounce directory (audio) , dī- \
plural directories

Kids Definition of directory

: a book containing an alphabetical list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers

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