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

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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

The outlet reported that the vote directs law enforcement officials to stop investigating, arresting and prosecuting adults who use or possess drugs sourced from mushrooms and other plants. Helen Murphy, PEOPLE.com, "Oakland, California, Becomes Second U.S. City to Decriminalize 'Magic Mushrooms'," 5 June 2019 The city council’s vote directed law enforcement to cease investigating and prosecuting individuals for using or possessing drugs sourced from plants, cacti and – most commonly – mushrooms that contain the hallucinogen psilocybin. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, "Oakland, Calif. legalizes magic mushrooms and peyote," 5 June 2019 The shutdown occurred just after 2:30 p.m. The Arizona Department of Public Safety was at he scene directing traffic in the area, according to ADOT. Raquel Baier, azcentral, "Eastbound Loop 202 shut down in Mesa, causing major traffic backup," 5 June 2019 On Friday, Hampton wrote a letter to Robinson directing that the firing of Southworth be reversed, and giving him a deadline of close of business that day to do so. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Ex- Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton staffer looking for answers on 'dark forces' after firing," 5 June 2019 Also inside this display: a diffuser plate that directs light back into the cavity. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Our first-look photos of Apple’s new Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR," 4 June 2019 The sheriff’s office is directing those affected to follow @GrantPUD for information on when power will be restored. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "Grant County residents flee fast-growing wildfire," 4 June 2019 Federal prosecutors may argue the restitution should be nearly $375,000 — what the members' money would have been worth now if it had been invested as the group had directed. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Women's investment club scammed by longtime treasurer," 4 June 2019 Meanwhile, husband Lynn Chang (a violinist and composer) taught masterclasses and directed a recital by Arts+ merit scholars. charlotteobserver, "After 50 years, innovation and collaboration keep this Charlotte arts group buzzing," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

These changes in climate are creating higher temperatures, which have both direct and indirect effects on creating drought conditions. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Don’t let your landscaping become a fire risk," 7 June 2019 The project created 13 direct and 17 indirect local jobs, according to the distributorship. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Real estate transactions: Avera launches next industrial project in Baytown," 7 June 2019 Fenty, by contrast, uses a direct-to-consumer model, which bypasses the in-store experience altogether. Tanisha C. Ford, The Atlantic, "The Radical Fashion Roots of Rihanna’s Fenty Line," 7 June 2019 Duggan traces Rand’s influence, both direct and indirect, on American politics and culture. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "The Persistent Ghost of Ayn Rand, the Forebear of Zombie Neoliberalism," 6 June 2019 Because the health of the child is inextricable from the health of the family, seeking crisis support through child-centric resources is the most direct route to addressing the most areas of concern at once. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Mom takes stress out on child," 6 June 2019 Because the health of the child is inextricable from the health of the family, seeking crisis support though child-centric resources is the most direct route to addressing the most areas of concern at once. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: Stressed out and always angry, a mother feels herself losing control," 5 June 2019 Because the health of the child is inextricable from the health of the family, seeking crisis support through child-centric resources is the most direct route to addressing the most areas of concern at once. oregonlive.com, "Carolyn Hax: When angry I am too rough with my little boy and it horrifies me," 5 June 2019 The company last year set a target to reduce direct and indirect emissions 25% below 2017 levels, per beverage, by 2025. Benjamin Romano, The Seattle Times, "Employees are pressuring Amazon to become a leader on climate. Here’s how that could work.," 18 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The smaller jets were easier to fill and could fly direct to more places around the world without funneling through hubs. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Airports Worried the A380 Was Too Big. Turns Out, That Wasn’t the Problem.," 14 Feb. 2019 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

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

9 Jun 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 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

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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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