direct

verb
di·​rect | \ də-ˈrekt How to pronounce direct (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for direct

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Seven minutes later, while navigating the canal’s approximately 4.3-mile gradual opening turn, it was joined at its stern by the Mosaed 2, a local tugboat employed to help direct its passage. Brendan Crowley, Popular Mechanics, "Here’s the Minute-by-Minute Breakdown of the Ever Given’s Crash," 9 Apr. 2021 The reboot was created by Stephen Dunn, who will be a writer and the executive producer of the series, and will direct the pilot. NBC News, "'Queer as Folk' reboot coming to NBC's Peacock network," 9 Apr. 2021 Biden will also direct the Justice Department to issue a comprehensive report on firearm trafficking for the first time since 2000, the White House officials said. Melissa Chan, Time, "Amid Rising Gun Violence, Biden to Unveil First Executive Actions to Curb Shootings," 8 Apr. 2021 Season 3 marks a big moment for Porter, who will direct his first episode of Pose. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Everything we know about the final season of Pose," 8 Apr. 2021 All the while, Sergeant Coolidge sought to calm them and direct their fire. New York Times, "Charles Coolidge, Oldest Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 99," 7 Apr. 2021 Cytokines are chemicals released by cells that direct the immune system to fight an invader. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "That second shot of COVID-19 vaccine can cause a headache and then some, but it works," 6 Apr. 2021 Not long after Summer of Soul’s success at Sundance, it was announced that Questlove will direct an as-yet-untitled documentary about Sly Stone. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "Questlove’s ‘Summer of Soul’ Documentary Gets July Release Date," 5 Apr. 2021 Even if a major breach occurs, Manatee County officials believe that well water will continue to be safe, but will direct the Department of Health to do testing if that happens. Jesse Mendoza, USA TODAY, "Florida crews are pumping wastewater into Tampa Bay to avoid a full reservoir breach: What we know," 5 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The payments, which total up to $1,400 each per individual, were distributed mostly by direct deposits and paper checks. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, "No brakes," 7 Apr. 2021 The stimulus cash would be issued through direct deposits and payments to existing Direct Express cards. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "Stimulus update April 7: For those on Social Security, payments should arrive today -- except for this one group," 7 Apr. 2021 The program would provide no-fee debit cards, direct deposits from employers and government agencies, electronic bill payment and ATM access, directly competing with private banks. Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, "Free banking in California? New bill tackles access and racial equity," 6 Apr. 2021 In a statement, Q2's chief executive Matt Flake said many banks still see the conversion of bill payments and direct deposits as a barrier to attracting customers to change banks. Evan Ramstad, Star Tribune, "Minneapolis fintech ClickSwitch is sold to Q2 Holdings," 1 Apr. 2021 The majority of the payments will be sent out in the form of both electronic direct deposits to bank accounts, as well as via payments to existing debit cards. Andy Meek, BGR, "More $1,400 stimulus checks are coming – here’s when," 31 Mar. 2021 The stimulus cash would be issued through direct deposits and payments to existing Direct Express cards. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Some stimulus cash won't arrive until April 7 or later, IRS says," 30 Mar. 2021 Additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks as direct deposits and through the mail as paper checks or debit cards, the IRS said. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Stimulus update: When will Social Security recipients, veterans receive $1,400 payments?," 29 Mar. 2021 Of the second amount, 17 million payments were direct deposits into bank accounts totaling $38 billion and nearly 15 million paper checks with a total value of nearly $34 billion. Martin Crutsinger, ajc, "Treasury sends out additional 37 million relief payments," 25 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb But foreigners can still fly direct from Munich or Bordeaux to beach resorts or cultural wonders in Spain, while Spaniards can’t travel across regions in the country to their second homes or visit relatives. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: The vaccination effort’s boots on the ground," 31 Mar. 2021 Still, foreigners like Mr. Hoffman or Ms. Karel can fly direct from Munich or Bordeaux to beach resorts or cultural wonders in Spain, while Spaniards can’t travel across regions in the country to their second homes or visit relatives. Aritz Parra, The Christian Science Monitor, "In Europe, revelers flock to restriction-free Madrid," 30 Mar. 2021 For people who file electronically and elect to have their refund direct-deposited into their bank account, most refunds are being issued within 21 days, according to the IRS. Washington Post, "If you’re in line for a stimulus payment, here’s why you shouldn’t wait to file your taxes on May 17," 19 Mar. 2021 The stock, which was direct listed on the NYSE this morning, closed at $69.47, 54% above its reference price of $45. Alex Knapp, Forbes, "Billionaire Dave Baszucki’s Wealth Soars To $4.2 Billion As Roblox Hits The Stock Market," 10 Mar. 2021 Earn 6 points per dollar at U.S. gas stations, on U.S. wireless telephone services, U.S. shipping purchases, U.S. restaurants, flights booked with airlines or through AmexTravel.com and car rentals booked direct. Holly Johnson, CNN Underscored, "Should small business owners get the Hilton Amex Business credit card?," 26 Mar. 2021 The second is selling direct to the consumer (or at least its owner), via subscriptions and other services. The Economist, "Mass craftsmanship How to know what customers want," 13 Mar. 2021 After enduring what feels like the longest Mercury retrograde of the year, the planet of communication is finally about to turn direct on 3rd November, aka US Election Day. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Mercury Retrograde Is Over — & Astrologers Say You’ll Feel It On US Election Day," 4 Nov. 2020 What is bypassing the governors and going direct to these centers accomplish? CBS News, "Transcript: Marcella Nunez-Smith on "Face the Nation," March 14, 2021," 14 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about direct

Time Traveler for direct

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for direct

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Direct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/direct. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce direct (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on direct

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!