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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web On Friday, the US government weighed in, an important opinion for many Haitians, who often look to their larger neighbor for guidance on the direction the political winds are blowing., "Haiti braces for unrest as president refuses to step down," 7 Feb. 2021 House Republicans debated Cheney’s fate during a tumultuous, hours-long, closed-door meeting Wednesday that was expected to signal the future direction of a party whose base is still fiercely loyal to Trump. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Liz Cheney keeps job as No. 3 House Republican despite her impeachment vote but 61 object," 4 Feb. 2021 Rank-and-file Republicans are looking for direction, as the former president’s exit from Washington has left a Trump-sized party leadership void in his wake. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "There's a Trump-sized hole at the center of GOP leadership as Cheney and Greene decisions hit," 4 Feb. 2021 The fan-favorite and critically acclaimed film received seven Emmy nominations in 1998, winning the singular art direction for variety or music program trophy. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "‘Cinderella,’ starring Whitney Houston, premiering soon on Disney+," 4 Feb. 2021 Under the arrangement, Title 9 founder and co-CEO Carmen Murray and co-CEO Michael Michel will retain ownership and continue leading the direction of the company and its clients’ careers. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "The Deals: Loki Artist Group Makes Big Investment in Title 9, Clash Gobbles Up Byte," 4 Feb. 2021 In fact, amid the recent focus on the congressional GOP's direction now, under one in five rank-and-file Republicans favor a conviction, while most still broadly value loyalty to Mr. Trump. Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, CBS News, "Majority favor conviction as impeachment trial begins, but many Republicans urge loyalty to Trump — CBS News poll," 9 Feb. 2021 Winning a Super Bowl adds to that aura, something that coaches and parents can use as reinforcement in driving home a message to kids in need of direction. Star Tribune, "Tyler Johnson, Super Bowl champion, celebrated as 'mirror for these kids' in north Minneapolis," 8 Feb. 2021 Most of the direction-setting is dominated by that privileged group. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, "Gabe Kapler unveils foundation to help under-represented groups gain positions in sports," 8 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for direction

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for direction

Last Updated

15 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Direction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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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