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 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
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)

Other Words from direction

directionless \ də-​ˈrek-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce direction (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Will a playoff berth or major league award show that Atlanta is moving in the right direction? New York Times, 23 June 2022 While still well short of the pre-pandemic weekday average of about 125,000, the numbers are trending in the right direction. Tom Condon, Hartford Courant, 23 June 2022 When Altuve pointed him in the right direction, Oliver took off to get the temporary base as the crowd of more than 35,000 cheered him on. Matt Young, Chron, 22 June 2022 Ultimately the changes are a move in the right direction and a good first step, Parks said. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 21 June 2022 While the gender gap is slowly moving in the right direction in some sectors, the disparity in funding seems to remain stagnant. Forbes, 21 June 2022 Overall, only about 2 in 10 adults said the U.S. is heading in the right direction or that the economy is good, both down from about 3 in 10 in April. Arkansas Online, 17 June 2022 After a late-season surge and competitive first-round series against top-seeded Phoenix, Zion Williamson's return to play alongside Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum has fans optimistic things are headed in the right direction. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 17 June 2022 KillsCrow said the changes and plans for education about the Delaware Tribe is a first step in the right direction. Mj Slaby, The Indianapolis Star, 16 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near direction

direct investment



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Statistics for direction

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Direction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for direction


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on direction

Nglish: Translation of direction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of direction for Arabic Speakers


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