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

Miller found a key molecule that directs gene activity in brain cells — known as microRNA — is elevated in people with PTSD. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "Holiday fireworks can be a terrible trigger for those with PTSD," 4 July 2019 The museum hosts kid's story and craft time on Thursdays, starting July 11 at 10:30 a.m. with Sue Capp, who will read to the children, direct a craft and enjoy a snack with them. Ron Browning, baltimoresun.com, "Havre de Grace: A busy July starts with Independence Day celebrations," 4 July 2019 So Nussbaum doesn’t fixate on Tony Soprano’s brand of aggrieved male antihero, directing her attention — and ours — toward the women, especially Carmela and Dr. Melfi. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "A TV Critic Who Has Seen the Small Screen Become Huge," 3 July 2019 Sami Ismat has a diverse career creating performances, directing and teaching. Myrna Petlicki, chicagotribune.com, "Shout Out: Sami Ismat, theater performer," 3 July 2019 Moser also cited Massie being among the 26 members who three years ago voted against the 21st Century CURES Act, which directed $6.3 billion to speed up drug treatment, as one of the troubling things about the congressman's record. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "National Republicans may be maneuvering to unseat Kentucky's conservative darling, Massie," 3 July 2019 Fellow Wayans brother Keenan Ivory Wayans directed the flick, with the three siblings producing the film and writing the script together alongside Michael Anthony Snowden, Xavier Cook, and Andy McElfresh. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "Terry Crews Says White Chicks Sequel Is in the Works: Shawn Wayans Confirmed 'We're Doing It'," 3 July 2019 But the city's charter also expressly prohibits the mayor and council from directing the city manager to hire or fire any employee. Jessica Boehm, azcentral, "Phoenix council won't fire officers from viral video, because they can't," 3 July 2019 Loughlin, Giannulli and other parents are accused of directing some of their payments to a nonprofit that Singer operated. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Lori Loughlin missed ‘grand opportunity’ by not taking plea deal, expert says," 2 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Yet Warren’s criticism of the industry has at times flared into direct clashes with its most prominent leaders. latimes.com, "Elizabeth Warren is winning grudging respect among some on Wall Street," 5 July 2019 On top of those direct job cuts, Guettabi questioned the longer-term consequences of a smaller university system in terms of attracting students, and attracting and retaining employees. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy budget vetoes will result in Alaska job losses, economists say," 4 July 2019 The oceanographers didn’t have direct measurements of nutrient levels for all of the years of the study. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "This is the world’s largest patch of seaweed. And it’s growing in an unexpected place," 4 July 2019 Arrange them skin side down on the direct-heat side of the grill; cook, uncovered, until the skin begins to blacken, 5 to 10 minutes. Becky Krystal, The Denver Post, "This classic barbecue chicken recipe will complete your summer," 4 July 2019 If the aim is to focus on quick possession, Chile will drag out the minutes, be more direct and physical and frustrate your midfield until your manager is forced to use a different strategy. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "History, Rivalry Front and Center in Both Copa America Semifinals," 1 July 2019 Some in attendance praised the two for their emotional answers and willingness to be direct and to talk about specific plans. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Immigration, healthcare dominate youth watch party for first presidential debate," 27 June 2019 The author is direct but mindful not to let moments like this overwhelm. Rumaan Alam, Washington Post, "‘Very Nice’ is a good book to pack for your vacation. But maybe it’s more than that.," 25 June 2019 The author is direct but mindful not to let moments like this overwhelm. Rumaan Alam, Dallas News, "'Very Nice,' indeed: Marcy Dermansky's fourth novel is a great summer read," 25 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Those big volumes that come direct from the street? New York Times, "Suiting Up With Meghan Markle’s Designer," 11 June 2019 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

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

7 Jul 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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