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)

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Other Words from direction

directionless \ də-​ˈrek-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce directionless (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Make sure to curl each strand in a different direction for a messy, natural look. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "5 Best Tutorials for How to Curl Short Hair," 19 Aug. 2019 There’s likely to be many of these 1% higher, 1% lower days, as investors search for a longer-term direction. Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, "Technology stocks power a broad rally on Wall Street," 19 Aug. 2019 There’s likely to be many of these 1% higher, 1% lower days, as investors search for a longer-term direction. Washington Post, "Technology companies drive a broad rally on Wall Street," 19 Aug. 2019 With Madison Bumgarner riding a hot streak and Merrill Kelly in a funk, with the Giants playing well and the Diamondbacks ice cold, Sunday’s series finale felt like a game that was a mortal lock to go a certain direction. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks ride roller coaster, strong Merrill Kelly outing to beat Giants," 18 Aug. 2019 The model who is known for her love of crop tops, took her style in a surprising new direction for the occasion. Vogue, "Emily Ratajkowski Trades in Her Crop Top for a Refreshing New Look," 17 Aug. 2019 But fate — and her parents — took her in a very different direction. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "10 things to do in San Diego this weekend: Mariachi concert, Summergrass San Diego, Chula Vista HarborFest," 16 Aug. 2019 Georgia should be able to aim for the middle-of-the-SEC standings as the program trends in a positive direction. Emily Caron,, "Headlined by Star Anthony Edwards, Georgia's 2019 Class Has Bulldogs Looking Up," 15 Aug. 2019 If the winds in AI shift, DeepMind may be well placed to tack in a different direction. Gary Marcus, WIRED, "DeepMind's Losses and the Future of Artificial Intelligence," 14 Aug. 2019

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

22 Aug 2019

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
: 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 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.

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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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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