noun di·rec·tion \də-ˈrek-shən, dī-\

Definition of direction

  1. 1 :  guidance or supervision of action or conduct :  management working under the direction of the doctor

  2. 2 archaic :  the address placed on the outside of a letter or package to be delivered :  superscription

  3. 3a :  an explicit instruction :  order carefully read the directions follow directionsb :  assistance in pointing out the proper route —usually used in plural asked for directions to the beach

  4. 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

  5. 5 archaic :  directorate 1

  6. 6a :  a channel or direct course of thought or action deciding which direction to take as a writerb :  tendency, trendc :  a guiding, governing, or motivating purpose His life lacked direction.

  7. 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 1passage 6b) or movement (see movement 4c)


play \-ləs\ adjective



Examples of direction in a sentence

  1. The army attacked from three different directions.

  2. Down the road, he could see a bus coming from the opposite direction.

  3. The wind changed direction and started blowing in our faces.

  4. Carefully read the directions before you begin the test.

  5. Directions appear on the package.

  6. We had to stop to ask for directions to the beach.

  7. Excuse me. Could you please give me directions to the movie theater?

  8. He was put in charge and given overall direction of the program.

  9. Twenty-three employees work under her direction.

  10. Several nurses working under the direction of this doctor have made complaints.

Origin and Etymology of direction

see 1direct

First Known Use: 15th century

DIRECTION Defined for English Language Learners


noun di·rec·tion \də-ˈrek-shən, dī-\

Definition of direction for English Language Learners

  • : the course or path on which something is moving or pointing

  • directions : 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

DIRECTION Defined for Kids


noun di·rec·tion \də-ˈrek-shən, dī-\

Definition of direction for Students

  1. 1 :  the path along which something moves, lies, or points I'm coming from the opposite direction.

  2. 2 :  an order or instruction to be followed Read the directions first.

  3. 3 :  instructions on how to get somewhere

  4. 4 :  supervision, management He took over direction of the project.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up direction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.