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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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 IndyGo will put up signs on affected stops to direct riders to the next closest stop on the route. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "These IndyGo bus routes are affected by the restaurant street closures," 21 May 2020 Snyder exited the production shortly after, and Whedon stepped in to direct new filming and put his touch on the production and script. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The “Snyder cut” exists: Justice League re-shoot coming to HBO Max in 2021," 20 May 2020 Members of the Hox family of genes, which are well known to direct the different regions of the embryo to develop into the head, tail, and so forth, seemed likely to be involved. John A. Long, Scientific American, "How a 380-Million-Year-Old Fish Gave Us Fingers," 20 May 2020 Signs were put up to direct the flow of foot traffic and explain anti-contagion measures. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "An Audience Comes Out of Lockdown for Schubert and Mahler," 20 May 2020 All of the finalists will be given a $25,000 grand to direct toward their efforts. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Cavaliers’ Kevin Love a finalist for Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at ESPYs," 20 May 2020 Social distancing guidelines were in effect, with markings on the floor to direct foot traffic, WPLG reported, and shoppers were being offered masks at the entrances. Rosa Flores, CNN, "Floridians rejoice as malls, barbershops and gyms reopen across the state," 18 May 2020 The nonprofit has recently put together an emergency fund to direct relief to the families of beneficiaries enrolled in their program. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "A Coronavirus Turf War in Klickitat County," 17 May 2020 The firm prints food labels for meals that the district is distributing to families during the pandemic, as well as signage to direct traffic during food pick-ups. Carmina Tiscareño, Dallas News, "Coronavirus-themed board game has been a lifeline for Dallas printing company," 15 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Georgina Gooley is changing that with Billie, a direct-to-consumer razor brand that essentially flips the women’s shaving category on its head. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "Body Hair in a Razor Ad? Thank Georgina Gooley," 22 May 2020 For this and a variety of other reasons, it has been considered safer not to be direct about one’s desires. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "The End of ‘Who Me? For V.P.?’ Politics," 19 May 2020 Ars: How direct is the downstream—if that's an accurate description—to CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux? Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Linux distro review: Fedora Workstation 32," 19 May 2020 Farmers, meanwhile, are facing unprecedented financial challenges, even as some direct-to-consumer operations are flourishing. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, "Where’s the beef? Pandemic exposes cracks in US food system.," 19 May 2020 As the pandemic weighs on the cattle industry, Lowe is also focusing more of his attention on growing a new line of business: direct-to-consumer sales. USA Today, "‘Cows will need bred’: Coronavirus is hitting the meat industry all the way up to animal breeders," 18 May 2020 Mayer was the head of Disney's direct-to-consumer unit and oversaw Disney+, the company's new streaming service. NBC News, "Kevin Mayer, Disney's head of streaming, named TikTok CEO," 12 May 2020 Getting here There are direct flights from several major hubs in the United States to Santiago's Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, "A 3-Day Road Trip Through Chile's Wine Country," 11 May 2020 Other direct-to-consumer companies are experiencing a boost. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "In a Tough Month, This Instagram-Friendly Cereal Startup Eats Cake," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb On Monday, messenger Mercury moves direct into independent Aquarius. Venus Australis, refinery29.com, "Your Horoscope This Week," 8 Mar. 2020 Catch the live coverage direct from an empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, and a live TV broadcast on ESPN Plus PPV. oregonlive, "UFC 249 video highlights: Justin Gaethjae dismantles Tony Ferguson, Henry Cejudo keeps title belt with Dominick Cruz knockout," 10 May 2020 Be on the lookout for some major drama — Mercury turns direct the same day as the Super Worm Full Moon in Virgo a sign ruled by Mercury. Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "Mercury Retrograde Is Ending, But It May Bring Back Your Exes," 9 Mar. 2020 One day, Iran Air could fly direct to Los Angeles, to Houston. Washington Post, "‘Thugs killing people’s children’: U.S. issues more visa bans for Iranians tied to protest repression," 19 Dec. 2019 Airport Executive Director Tim Bannon said that means private international flights can arrive direct, rather than stopping elsewhere to clear customs. USA TODAY, "Rosa Parks statue, newborn polar bear cub, quake rocks Oregon: News from around our 50 states," 2 Dec. 2019 Henry Wishcamper will direct, Malcolm Ruhl will music direct, Andrew Hansen will compose and Tommy Rapley will choreograph. Hannah Herrera Greenspan, chicagotribune.com, "Booked it! Chicago casting announcements for Oct. 17," 17 Oct. 2019 The airline believes people will pay a premium to fly direct from New York to Sydney without a stop in Los Angeles. Tom Costello, NBC News, "Doing the 'Macarena' at 2 a.m. on Qantas' record-breaking 19-hour flight," 21 Oct. 2019 The latest comes direct from the world of hand jives, baby. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Grease TV musical spin-off Rydell High ordered at HBO Max," 15 Oct. 2019

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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Direct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/direct. Accessed 29 May. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on direct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for direct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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