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)

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But there are no signs yet that most investors are turning in that direction. Justin Baer, WSJ, "The Investor Fever for Passive Funds Is Cooling in 2018," 13 July 2018 The amendment adopted in the House on Wednesday takes a step in that direction. Felice J. Freyer,, "House backs plan to try addiction medications in some Mass. prisons," 12 July 2018 Swiftly, scores of scientists began pointing their telescopes in that direction, staring at the right region of the universe in every wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum. Author: Sarah Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect ‘ghost particles’ from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 Swiftly, scores of scientists began pointing their telescopes in that direction, staring at the right region of the universe in every wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum. Sarah Kaplan,, "In a cosmic first, scientists detect 'ghost particles' from a distant galaxy," 12 July 2018 The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’]; thanks to Brad Simpson, Nina Jacobson, the crew, cast, hair, makeup, wardrobe, Tom Rob Smith for his remarkable script, Gwyneth Horder Payton and Dan Minahan for their glorious direction. Libby Hill,, "Lin-Manuel Miranda, RuPaul, Tiffany Haddish and more react to Emmy nominations," 12 July 2018 But the president's optimistic outlook about North Korea's willingness to denuclearize and steps in that direction have been brought into question, after an NBC report claiming North Korea has been expanding a nuclear facility. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Sen. Warner asks intelligence chief if Trump's North Korea claims are true," 11 July 2018 In the picture, an ecstatic Randall Pearson appears to be sitting at the kitchen table staring upwards as his wife, Beth, who shoots an excited look back at his direction. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Star Sterling K. Brown Just Shared Major Spoilers From Season 3," 11 July 2018 Chairman Timothy Shriver did not become deeply involved in the Special Olympics because his mother or another family member nudged him in that direction. Alice George, Smithsonian, "For 50 Years, the Special Olympics Has Given Marginalized Superstars Center Stage," 10 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.

See More

First Known Use of direction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for direction

see direct entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about direction

Statistics for direction

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for direction

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on direction

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


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!