direct

verb
di·​rect | \də-ˈrekt, dī-\

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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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

Per PopSugar, the video was directed by Joe Hahn, who is Linkin Park's DJ. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "BTS and Steve Aoki's New Music Video Stars Ross Butler and the "Crazy Rich Asians" Cast," 19 Nov. 2018 Participating airlines print a TSA PreCheck indicator on your boarding pass—such as TSAPRECHK, TSA PRE, or TSA Pre✓—and bury it in the barcode, too, so that once it's scanned at the checkpoint, you can be directed to a PreCheck security lane. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Get TSA PreCheck: Everything You Need to Know," 11 Sep. 2018 The question is directed to her 20-month-old son, Maddox, but Morgan isn't snuggled up beside her little boy. Erin Quinn-kong, Woman's Day, "This Texas Organization Uses Books to Reconnect Female Prison Inmates With Their Children," 23 Aug. 2018 In fact, the video — which was directed by Dave Meyers — is stacked with all kinds of religious iconography. Dan Barna, Allure, "Kylie Jenner Transforms Into the Virgin Mary for Travis Scott's "Stop Trying to Be God" Video," 7 Aug. 2018 Much of their ire is directed not just at the plant but at the city. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 That's where their interests and attention were directed. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Teale's Legacy Lives On At Trail Wood Sanctuary," 9 July 2018 One of the plaintiffs, Jeffrey Neufeld, who lives in Connecticut, contends that Cigna directed him to order his supplies through a middleman who jacked up the prices. Marshall Allen, Ars Technica, "You snooze, you lose: Insurers make the old adage literally true," 21 Nov. 2018 To see the balloons in person, enter the viewing line at West 73rd Street and Columbus Avenue (volunteers will be present to help direct you), then exit at West 81st Street and Central Park West. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 2018 Information and Event History," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Those efforts include the sale of its slow-growth margarine and spreads business, as well as investments in areas such as direct-to-consumer razors and organic tea. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Unilever to Buy Horlicks, One of India’s Biggest Brands, From GSK," 3 Dec. 2018 The direct-to-consumer company designs carry-ons and checked bags that prioritize functionality over trends: sturdy handles molded to your grip, a scratch-proof finish, and durable zippers. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Everyone Wants an Away Suitcase," 26 Nov. 2018 Hulu picked up the series for a direct-to-series order of eight, one-hour episodes. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "When Will the New 'Veronica Mars' Stream on Hulu? We've Got All the Details," 29 Oct. 2018 Because having a resonant, direct, clear sort of story is part of the experience. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Author Diana Gabaldon on Her Two Rules for Writing a Good Sex Scene," 24 Oct. 2018 Many do so by going the direct-to-consumer route, a business model that streamlines production and cuts overhead costs to give customers a high-quality, wallet-friendly product. Laura Lajiness, Glamour, "5 New Denim Brands That Are Diversifying the Market—And Changing the Game," 20 Aug. 2018 The fashion fairy forest nymphs filling up your social feeds are more often than not clad in direct-to-consumer, dress-heavy brands like LoveShackFancy, Doen, Reformation, Faithfull the Brand, or their French counterparts Rouje and Sézane. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hang Up Your Hoodies, The Fashion Fairy Nymph Is Here," 10 Aug. 2018 The new policy goes beyond that by requiring senior executives to disclose such relationships even outside the direct lines of reporting. Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Facebook to End Forced Arbitration for Sexual-Harassment Claims," 9 Nov. 2018 Just a few hours after Venus goes direct, Mercury (your planetary ruler) goes retrograde. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Gemini Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 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

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

Adverb

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

8 Dec 2018

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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