di·​rec·​tion | \ də-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce direction (audio) , dī- \

Definition of direction

1 : guidance or supervision of action or conduct : management working under the direction of the doctor
2 archaic : the address placed on the outside of a letter or package to be delivered : superscription
3a : an explicit instruction : order carefully read the directions follow directions
b : assistance in pointing out the proper route usually used in pluralasked for directions to the beach
4 : the line or course on which something is moving or is aimed to move or along which something is pointing or facing came from the opposite direction walking in the same direction
6a : a channel or direct course of thought or action deciding which direction to take as a writer
c : a guiding, governing, or motivating purpose His life lacked direction.
7a : the art and technique of supervising the production of a show or performance : the art and technique of directing an orchestra, band, or a show (as for stage or screen)
b music : a word, phrase, or sign indicating the appropriate tempo, mood, or intensity of a passage (see passage entry 1 sense 6b) or movement (see movement sense 4c)

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Other Words from direction

directionless \ də-​ˈrek-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce directionless (audio) \ adjective
directionlessness noun

Examples of direction in a Sentence

The army attacked from three different directions. Down the road, he could see a bus coming from the opposite direction. The wind changed direction and started blowing in our faces. Carefully read the directions before you begin the test. Directions appear on the package. We had to stop to ask for directions to the beach. Excuse me. Could you please give me directions to the movie theater? He was put in charge and given overall direction of the program. Twenty-three employees work under her direction. Several nurses working under the direction of this doctor have made complaints.
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Recent Examples on the Web Police say, Austin Dallman, 18, was riding his skateboard west on Shea Boulevard near 128th Street when a vehicle traveling the same direction struck him shortly after midnight. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, "Scottsdale police seek public help on vehicle collision that killed skateboarder," 11 Aug. 2020 Trends in other countries are in the same direction. Frank Trentmann, The New Republic, "The Unequal Future of Consumption," 10 Aug. 2020 But any attempt to control the virus requires active, organized effort, and there needs to be strong institutional direction. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "How China Controlled the Coronavirus," 10 Aug. 2020 The gunman allegedly fired three shots into the victim’s gray Hyundai Elantra, shattering the driver’s side window and damaging the driver’s side door before continuing in an unknown direction, police said. Taylor Deville,, "Maryland State Police investigating highway shooting on I-95 in Baltimore County," 10 Aug. 2020 In addition, pooled trips, where passengers going in the same direction could split a ride, were suspended. Faiz Siddiqui, Washington Post, "Uber ridership has cratered and no one knows when it’ll come back," 10 Aug. 2020 Rusanowsky’s direction, the only clear path off the freeway. Miles Moffeit, Dallas News, "‘I felt like my chest was on fire’: Photo shows Dallas police officer shooting protester with pepper-ball gun," 9 Aug. 2020 The last time the teams met, in early January, Butler and Warren had several contentious confrontations, episodes that included Warren ejected for a middle finger directed at Butler and then Butler blowing a kiss in Warren's direction. Ira Winderman,, "Butler, Dragic expected back for Heat, as Butler-Warren rematch looms vs. Pacers," 9 Aug. 2020 On a clear day, the view can stretch from Denali in one direction to the Harding Icefield in another. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "‘It’s been rough on all of us in a lot of different ways’: Cooper Landing grapples with its third straight difficult summer," 8 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'direction.' 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 direction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for direction

see direct entry 1

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Time Traveler for direction

Time Traveler

The first known use of direction was in the 15th century

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Statistics for direction

Last Updated

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Direction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for direction


How to pronounce direction (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of direction

: the course or path on which something is moving or pointing
: a statement that tells a person what to do and how to do it : an order or instruction
: instructions that tell you how to go to a place


di·​rec·​tion | \ də-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce direction (audio) , dī- \

Kids Definition of direction

1 : the path along which something moves, lies, or points I'm coming from the opposite direction.
2 : an order or instruction to be followed Read the directions first.
3 : instructions on how to get somewhere
4 : supervision, management He took over direction of the project.

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