di·rec·tion | \ də-ˈrek-shən , 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 plural asked 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

5 archaic : directorate sense 1

6a : a channel or direct course of thought or action deciding which direction to take as a writer

b : tendency, trend

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 \-ləs \ 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

Suddenly, loss aversion may work in a pro-trade direction. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Two Words That Could Shape the Politics of the Trade War: Loss Aversion," 13 July 2018 The car that flipped over was driving southbound on St. Andrews Church Road when the driver lost control and ran into another vehicle that was stopped at the traffic light headed in the same direction, Mitchell said. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Police say driver in rollover crash in PRP will be charged with DUI," 13 July 2018 The commission majority said at the time that the county needed new leadership and a new direction after more than eight years with Zacharias at the helm. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "The vote was unanimous: She’s now Johnson County’s new manager," 12 July 2018 And several potential issues — including tax cuts, trade, the Supreme Court and Trump himself — could turn them in either direction. Seth Slabaugh, Indianapolis Star, "Sen. Joe Donnelly needs to keep his pro-Trump voters. But can he?," 12 July 2018 His young and diverse side has reinvigorated the country's enthusiasm, passion and obsession with the game; and the victory in the penalty shootout could have, rather, marked a change in direction for the team, and England as a country., "England United: How Gareth Southgate's Young Lions Have Brought a Country Together," 11 July 2018 Two top Brexiteers, David Davis and Boris Johnson, resigned from the cabinet this week after a critical meeting last Friday set a new direction for negotiations. Peter Ford, The Christian Science Monitor, "As clock ticks down, Britain finally reveals its plan for Brexit. What now?," 11 July 2018 According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Chris was located about 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and was moving in a northeastern direction at 10 mph. CBS News, "Hurricane Chris strengthens as it moves away from U.S.," 10 July 2018 Keating left a note for the area park ranger and, after watching the bear run off in a direction opposite the trail, climbed Flattop as planned. Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News, "Bear killed after it smashes SUV window and climbs inside at Anchorage trailhead," 6 July 2018

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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Statistics for direction

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for direction

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

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More Definitions for direction



English Language Learners Definition of direction

: 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


di·rec·tion | \ də-ˈrek-shən , 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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Comments on direction

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