di·​rec·​tion·​al də-ˈrek-shnəl How to pronounce directional (audio)
: of, relating to, or indicating direction in space:
: suitable for detecting the direction from which radio signals come or for sending out radio signals in one direction only
a directional antenna
: operating most effectively in a particular direction
a directional microphone
: relating to direction or guidance especially of thought or effort
directionality noun

Examples of directional in a Sentence

We work with maps to improve the students' directional skills. the directional signal lights on an automobile The radio has a directional antenna.
Recent Examples on the Web Productivity is increasing across the economy The trends at Starbucks point to similar directional trends across the U.S. economy where productivity increases have coincided with growth in hourly wages. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 3 Nov. 2023 There are directional signs throughout the park, which are helpful if hikers want to remain on one singular trail. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Oct. 2023 Places like tunnels and arches, however, create a very constant shadow, along with the fact there’s directional light. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 12 Oct. 2023 These are the warning signs of someone willing to experiment with their fashion choices and push luxury into a more directional dimension. Daniel Rodgers, Vogue, 30 Aug. 2023 At Bell Labs, there are high quality directional microphones that are strategically placed in the room along with localization equipment that pinpoints where these microphones are in 3D space. Charlotte Hu, Popular Science, 7 Sep. 2023 Despite the pearl-clutching reaction to its stigma-bashing video, Madonna’s boundary-breaking song signified a directional shift with a more adult bent. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2023 Note the new side door, the six rails on the stub wing with two rockets pods mounted, and the elements of the Vitebsk self defense system including directional infrared jamming turrets on the wingtip and tail. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 30 Aug. 2023 Upward momentum is very strong, as indicated by the daily average directional index, which is surging higher, and 10-year yield could rise further to 4.45% and possibly 4.50% later, the analyst says. WSJ, 22 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'directional.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of directional was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near directional

Cite this Entry

“Directional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


di·​rec·​tion·​al də-ˈrek-sh(ə-)nəl How to pronounce directional (audio)
: relating to or indicating direction
directional signal lights on an automobile
: relating to direction or guidance especially of thought or effort

More from Merriam-Webster on directional

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