direct

verb
di·​rect | \ də-ˈrekt , dī-\
directed; directing; directs

Definition of direct

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to turn, move, or point undeviatingly or to follow a straight course X-rays directed through the body
2 : to point, extend, or project in a specified line or course direct the nozzle downward
3a : to regulate the activities or course of directs a staff of over 200 employees
b : to carry out the organizing, energizing, and supervising of direct a project directed a call center
c : to train and lead performances of direct a movie directing a famous actor
d : to dominate and determine the course of … will not find it preposterous that the past should be altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past.— T. S. Eliot
4a : to impart orally directed the remark to her fellow senators
b : to mark with the name and address of the intended recipient
c : to adapt in expression so as to have particular applicability arguments directed at the emotions
d obsolete : to write (a letter) to a person
5 : to show or point out the way for signs directing us to the entrance
6 : to request or enjoin (see enjoin sense 1) with authority the judge directed the jury to acquit

intransitive verb

1 : to act as director of a show or musical ensemble She both acted and directed in the film.
2 : to point out, prescribe, or determine a course or procedure

direct

adjective

Definition of direct (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : 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
2a : 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 : natural, straightforward a direct manner asked him to be more direct was direct in her criticism
4a : marked by absence of an intervening agency, instrumentality, or influence making direct observations of nature
b : effected or brought about 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
5 : characterized by close logical, causal, or consequential relationship direct evidence
6 astronomy : having or being motion in the general planetary direction from west to east : not retrograde (see retrograde entry 1 sense 1a(1))
7 : capable of dyeing without the aid of a mordant

direct

adverb

Definition of direct (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a direct (see direct entry 2) way: such as
a : from point to point without deviation : by the shortest way flew direct to Miami
b : from the source without interruption or diversion (see diversion sense 1) the writer must take his material direct from life— Douglas Stewart
c : without an intervening agency (see agency sense 3) or step buy direct from the manufacturer

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Synonyms & Antonyms for direct

Synonyms: Verb

canalize, channel, channelize, conduct, funnel, pipe, siphon (also syphon)

Synonyms: Adjective

firsthand, immediate, primary, unmediated

Synonyms: Adverb

dead, directly, due, plumb, plump, right, straight, straightway

Antonyms: Adjective

indirect, secondhand

Antonyms: Adverb

indirectly

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Choose the Right Synonym for direct

Verb

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

Examples of direct in a Sentence

Verb

Be sure that the water nozzle is directed downward. The sloping ground helps direct water away from the home. Let me direct your attention to the book's second chapter. We were asked to direct our thoughts and prayers to the people who survived the disaster. The students directed their efforts toward improving their community. A lot of the criticism has been directed toward the concert's organizers. He is responsible for directing the activities of the sales team. In my current position, I direct a staff of over 200 employees. We need someone to direct traffic.

Adjective

I found a more direct route to the city. That way is more direct. Keep these plants out of direct sunlight. The coastline was exposed to the direct force of the hurricane. The weather had a direct effect on our plans. There's a direct connection between the two events. The investigation began in direct response to the newspaper story.

Adverb

It costs less if you buy it direct from the manufacturer. flew direct to the coast
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In London, as among a whole cohort of global talent, a new, more ethical model of making incredible things to order is emerging, be it for celebrities, or for people who direct-message designers privately. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "The Brexit Deadline Is Looming—Here’s How It Will Affect London Fashion Week," 14 Feb. 2019 The push on that came from David Michôd, who directed Animal Kingdom. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Untogether is the Indie Rom-Com You Need To See," 8 Feb. 2019 Ten years on, vestiges of his rah-rah sports spirit remain, if now playing second string to a harder, edgier look directed to Insta-girls. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Vogue Runway Did a Ten-Year Fashion Challenge: Check Out the Results Here," 30 Jan. 2019 Also like Pecker, Putin helped direct the release of disinformation meant to promote Trump and hurt Clinton, according to a report by the Director of National Intelligence. Alex Finley - Center For Public Integrity, Vox, "Trump got the National Enquirer to bury his secrets. Did he do the same with Putin?," 21 Dec. 2018 Advocates for the program call it a potentially game-changing community development tool that can direct investment to areas of the country that didn’t benefit from the post-financial crisis recovery. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Opportunity zones: vital community development tool or tax windfall for the rich?," 3 Oct. 2018 Parents and children should be reunited.’’ The judge directed the U.S. to cover the cost of all reunifications after the ACLU asserted that families were being forced to pay for travel expenses and DNA tests to prove parentage. Kartikay Mehrotra, BostonGlobe.com, "Reunited immigrant families face difficult choice: try to stay legally or leave children in the US," 14 July 2018 Rawson Marshall Thurber, who made Central Intelligence with Johnson, wrote and directed the pic. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'Hotel Transylvania 3' Beats 'Skyscraper' in Thursday Previews," 13 July 2018 While others directed their jokes (and probably a little anger) at Demi, who was the main instigator of the older vs. younger women debate. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "On The Bachelor, A Woman Over 27 Is Considered a 'Cougar'," 15 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The HoloLens requires Wi-Fi, so a direct LTE connection won’t work. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Dynamics 365 Remote Assist finally makes the HoloLens useful for anyone," 18 Sep. 2018 But Intel’s chief operating officer Kim Stevenson quit in 2017, without a direct replacement. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel makes Bob Swan its permanent CEO, maintaining a slow, steady course away from the PC," 31 Jan. 2019 These cans came from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey—potentially direct from Memphis, but from other FedEx outposts as well. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Inside FedEx’s Christmas Miracle," 19 Dec. 2018 Sales will initially be direct to consumer, but the company is in talks with potential distribution partners to enable its growth across the country and internationally. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Rivian Automotive looking to battle electric cars with battery-powered trucks," 21 Sep. 2018 Take a ride on the New York City subway and you’ll be bombarded with ads for direct-to-consumer luggage brands promising to make our lives easier, smoother (literally, with four wheels instead of two), and more stylish. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Wants an Away Suitcase," 26 Nov. 2018 Further reading: the new science of genetic prediction Correction: An earlier version of this piece stated the forthcoming Color Genomics test for heart disease risk will be available direct-to-consumer. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Genetics has learned a ton — mostly about white people. That’s a problem.," 27 Oct. 2018 Drazan believes the Latin music industry is segmented, offering regional Mexican and Latin urban sounds from the mainstream side, and a diverse, direct-to-consumer independent avenue that’s becoming increasingly financially viable. Jessica Lipsky, Billboard, "Latin Women Take The Reins: Insights From the Latin Alternative Music Conference," 13 July 2018 One, your pillow’s structural integrity has a direct impact on your quality of sleep and neck support. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Designed by our own Aurich Lawson, our mugs come direct from the Ars Technica Orbiting HQ to your kitchen cupboard, feature spiffy front and back designs, and are dishwasher and microwave safe. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Caffeinate in style with an Ars Technica mug—now cheaper than ever," 12 Oct. 2018 That means road trippers and residents alike will be able to drive direct along the 100-mile stretch between Cambria and Carmel for the first time in 18 months. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "California's Highway One to Fully Reopen Today," 18 July 2018 Extra fresh: Single Fin Kitchen’s seafood comes direct from Catalina Offshore Products’ Tommy Gomes (as does Not Not Tacos’). Michele Parente, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Little Italy Food Hall, a delicious gastro-gathering place, opens today," 12 July 2018 JTACs are the airmen on the ground who direct during close air support and strike operations alongside other services' troops. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Air Force tests two turboprops as potential A-10 “replacements”," 19 June 2018 Whatever your personal lesson was, keep it in mind after this planet goes direct next week. refinery29.com, "This 4-Month Retrograde Will End Next Week — Is Your Luck About To Change?," 5 July 2018 The hit show reveals how top-charting Billboard artists’ biggest hits came to be by combining stories direct from the artists themselves with fun animation and sound effects. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Billboard Debuts 'How It Went Down' on IGTV With Story Behind Troye Sivan's 'My My My'," 21 June 2018 On July 10, Jupiter will finally turn direct, so from July 10 – November 8, you will be well positioned for a serious commitment and a very exciting one with such a strong Jupiter. Rebecca Gordon, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Find Summer Romance According to the Stars," 21 June 2018 Today, Sophie Monet Jewelry is sold direct-to-consumer but also in shops like Anthropologie and Lane Crawford, as well as a wide array of independent stores across the world. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meet the Venice Beach Jewelry Designer Who Works Side-by-Side With Her Dad," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'direct.' 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 direct

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4d

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for direct

Verb and Adverb

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

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin directus — see direct entry 1

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Learn More about direct

Dictionary Entries near direct

dird

dirdum

dire

direct

directable

direct-acting

direct action

Statistics for direct

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for direct

The first known use of direct was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for direct

direct

verb

English Language Learners Definition of direct

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

direct

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of direct (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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

direct

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of direct (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a straight line without turning or stopping
: straight from a source with nothing and nobody in between

direct

verb
di·​rect | \ də-ˈrekt , dī-\
directed; directing

Kids Definition of direct

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to cause to point or move in a particular direction Direct your light over here.
2 : to cause to focus on direct your attention
3 : to show or tell the way Signs directed us to the exit.
4 : to put an address on direct a letter
5 : order entry 1 sense 2, command Bake as directed.
6 : to manage or control the making or activities of direct a play She directs a large company.

direct

adjective

Kids Definition of direct (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : going from one point to another without turning or stopping : straight a direct route
2 : coming straight from a cause or source … the skunk … sprayed Brian with a direct shot …— Gary Paulsen, Hatchet
3 : said or done in a clear and honest way a direct answer
4 : being in an unbroken family line a direct ancestor
5 : exact entry 1 a direct translation a direct hit

Other Words from direct

directness noun

direct

adverb

Kids Definition of direct (Entry 3 of 3)

: directly sense 1 I flew direct to Paris.
di·​rect

Legal Definition of direct

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to order with authority the testator directed that the car go to his niece
2 : to order entry of (a verdict) without jury consideration the court directed a verdict in favor of the defendant
3 : to act as director of

intransitive verb

: to act as director

direct

adjective

Legal Definition of direct (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : stemming immediately from a source direct costs a direct claim — compare derivative
b : being or passing in a straight line from parent to offspring : lineal a direct ancestor — compare collateral
2 : marked by absence of any intervening agency, instrumentality, or influence direct consequences
3 : effected by the action of the people or the electorate and not by representatives direct democracy
4 : characterized by close logical, causal, or consequential relationship a direct interest in the outcome of the litigation

Other Words from direct

directly adverb

direct

noun

Legal Definition of direct (Entry 3 of 3)

: direct examination testimony given on direct

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More from Merriam-Webster on direct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with direct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for direct

Spanish Central: Translation of direct

Nglish: Translation of direct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of direct for Arabic Speakers

Comments on direct

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