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 pluralasked 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
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 Scientists with USDA Wildlife Services, under the direction of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, are continuing to conduct wildlife surveillance near the farm, which entails trapping and testing animals. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Sandhill cranes, black-footed ferrets, Washington crossing the Delaware: News from around our 50 states," 28 Dec. 2020 Yes, the Jaguars have hit rock bottom under the direction of Tom Coughlin (fired last December), Dave Caldwell and Marrone. Barry Wilner, ajc, "On Football: NFL coaching carousel about to start spinning," 26 Dec. 2020 Slowing down Nebraska Under the direction of Fred Hoiberg, who is in his second season as head coach, the Cornhuskers like to play fast. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball vs. Nebraska on Christmas: Scouting report, prediction," 24 Dec. 2020 In fact, under the direction of George C. Wolfe, the entire acting ensemble, which also includes Glynn Turman and Colman Domingo, is sterling. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "From ‘American Utopia’ to ‘Ma Rainey’: The 10 best films of 2020," 21 Dec. 2020 Seminole, under the direction of first-time head coach Eric Lodge, won its second state championship 12 years after claiming its first. J.c. Carnahan,, "Sanford Seminole beats Kissimmee Osceola to win 8A state football title," 19 Dec. 2020 Gumbo Limbo remains closed to the public during COVID-19 under the direction of the city of Boca Raton. Nile Fortner,, "Gumbo Limbo Nature Center working to bring back the tower," 18 Dec. 2020 Abdullah, prosecutors said, started planning the attack in 2016 under the direction of an al-Shabab commander who was also involved in planning a deadly attack in 2019 on a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. CBS News, "Kenyan man charged with plotting 9/11-style attack on U.S.," 16 Dec. 2020 Officers who specialize in gang intelligence are now assigned to each of those homicide teams to investigate cases under the direction of the homicide lieutenant. Jeremy Gorner,, "Chicago police’s homicide clearance rate dips in 2020 after improvement in recent years," 14 Dec. 2020

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

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Direction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for direction


How to pronounce direction (audio)

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

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