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

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

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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 To direct resources toward disaster response, many testing sites were closed. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "After record-setting hurricane damage, Louisiana town struggles to rebuild," 2 Sep. 2020 With coronavirus concerns putting a premium on the touchless experience, security turnstiles may be programmed to automatically direct elevators to an office worker’s floor. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Meet the secret weapon for fighting the pandemic: Interior architects," 28 Aug. 2020 Markers on the floor also will help direct visitors. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, "Behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: What does it take reopen a national landmark? Come inside.," 27 Aug. 2020 Some people on social media pointed out that Mr. Trump's efforts to direct sales away from Goodyear could potentially lead to job losses at a time when the jobless rate remains higher than the Great Recession. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Trump calls for boycott of Goodyear, claiming company banned MAGA hats," 20 Aug. 2020 Following these events in their local newspapers, many Americans came to view Hoover’s decision to direct active-duty soldiers against former soldiers as proof of his callousness to the average American’s plight during the Depression. oregonlive, "Oregon WWI vet led 20,000-strong Bonus Army in 1932 that marched on nation’s capital, met brutal resistance," 14 Aug. 2020 The order does not cover loans from private lenders since the government would have repay those providers and the president lacks the authority to direct funds for such a purpose. Alexandra Olson, Star Tribune, "Trump's pandemic relief orders are limited in scope," 9 Aug. 2020 The Trump administration also faced some legal limits in its ability to direct states’ responses, though there are no laws preventing the White House from issuing clear guidelines and urging states and individuals to adhere to them. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Behind New Covid-19 Outbreaks: America’s Patchwork of Policies," 9 July 2020 Messenger Mercury stations direct in Cancer on July 12, after having been retrograde since June 18. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your July Horoscope," 1 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In that time, direct, nonstop transatlantic flights returned to Bradley with service from Aer Lingus. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Future of Bradley International Airport, once bright, turns uncertain amid pandemic and plunging air passenger traffic," 8 Sep. 2020 Easy, low-cost direct flights also make Budapest a favorable add-on leg for any Euro adventure, something LGBTQIA+ travelers have taken note of. Dan Koday, Travel + Leisure, "10 Up-and-Coming Destinations Around the World For LGBTQIA+ Travelers," 5 Sep. 2020 After Israel and the UAE sign a normalization agreement, Etihad will operate direct flights to Tel Aviv, the TV news program said. Alisa Odenheimer, Bloomberg.com, "Etihad Begins Ticket Sales to Israelis in Lead-Up to Flights," 1 Sep. 2020 According to the New York Times, about 40,000 people traveled from China to the United States in the two months after Trump announced travel restrictions, and 60 percent of people on direct flights from China were not U.S. citizens. Politifact Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Fact-checking Mike Pence, night three of Republican National Convention 2020," 28 Aug. 2020 Every Ebola outbreak [in Africa], people race to the capital cities, where there are direct flights to Europe and India and China. Brendan Borrell, National Geographic, "This globetrotting doctor saves lives by diving headfirst into hot zones," 28 Aug. 2020 Airlines offer direct flights to more than 40 airports from Pittsburgh International Airport. James Leggate, Fox News, "Woman tries to bypass TSA at Pittsburg airport, flings water on agent before making break for terminal," 22 Aug. 2020 Southwest had been running 63 daily departures out of New Orleans prior to the pandemic, with several flights a day to Houston and Dallas as well as less frequent daily direct flights to a number of other destinations. Anthony Mcauley | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "New Orleans airport's comeback comes to screeching halt: Southwest to slash flights in the fall," 20 Aug. 2020 The accord between the countries is supposed to include direct flights, less than a three-hour journey, though that could require approval from Saudi Arabia to use its airspace. Aron Heller, Star Tribune, "Israelis eager to tighten ties to UAE after historic accord," 17 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Today, Jupiter turns direct and comes into an opposition with the emotional Moon at 12:54 pm EDT, restoring optimism, enthusiasm, and a sense of adventure in our hearts. Tarot Astrologers, chicagotribune.com, "Daily horoscope for September 12, 2020," 12 Sep. 2020 From around 2007 to 2016 the company had engaged in a scheme to bribe Chinese officials in order to obtain the direct-selling licenses, federal prosecutors said. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, "Herbalife Nutrition Agrees to Pay $123 Million to Settle China Bribery Allegations," 28 Aug. 2020 Films that were meant to anchor this summer blockbuster season, such as Tenet and Mulan, are either on hold indefinitely or going direct to streaming as experiments in how to generate revenue. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Why movie theaters are in trouble after DOJ nixes 70-year-old case," 11 Aug. 2020 Some applicants choose to have the money direct deposited into their existing accounts but many simply rely on the accounts set up by DES for their funds. Ryan Randazzo, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona DES says unemployment benefits will be restored to thousands of legitimate claimants," 31 July 2020 Answer: If your Social Security payments are direct deposited, your relief payments should have been sent to that bank account. Liz Weston, oregonlive, "Liz Weston: Call stimulus payment number, not taxpayer hotline, for questions on missing money," 11 July 2020 Even as the messenger planet begins to move direct in earnest, Mercury will remain in sensitive Cancer until 3rd August. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Mercury Retrograde Is Over — But Retroshade Is Here," 9 July 2020 Make sure the aloe comes direct from the plant, or is fragrance-free, to avoid aggravation to the skin. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "How Long Does a Sunburn Last—and Is There Any Way to Make It Heal Faster?," 6 July 2020 The kit, which Howard said may eventually be sold direct to consumers, allows users to collect their own nasal swab samples for testing under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional through a video chat. Randy Tucker, The Enquirer, "COVID-19: Kroger gets emergency use approval for at-home test kit," 1 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for direct

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for direct

Last Updated

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Direct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/direct. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for direct

direct

verb
How to pronounce direct (audio)

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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Comments on direct

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