di·​rect·​ly | \ də-ˈrek(t)-lē How to pronounce directly (audio) , dī-, in sense 2 especially də-ˈrek-lē or ˈdrek-lē \

Definition of directly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : in a direct manner directly relevant the road runs directly east and west
b : in immediate physical contact
c : in the manner of direct variation
2a : without delay : immediately the second game followed directly after the first
b : in a little while : shortly we'll be leaving directly


di·​rect·​ly | \ də-ˈrek(t)-lē How to pronounce directly (audio) , dī-; ˈdrek-lē \

Definition of directly (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British
: immediately after : as soon as directly I received it I rang up the shipping company— F. W. Crofts

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Synonyms & Antonyms for directly

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of directly in a Sentence

Adverb He refused to answer the question directly. She said that she wanted to speak to you directly. The package will be sent directly to your home. The two accidents are directly related. Thousands of people were directly affected by the disaster. Antonyms are words that are directly opposite in meaning. We parked directly behind the store. He sat directly across from me at the dinner table. Conjunction I came directly I received your message.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Five rounds in all were shot into the car -- and that includes one that lodged into the seat directly behind the girl, police said. oregonlive, "5 bullets shot into car with 5-year-old girl inside in SE Portland," 18 Oct. 2020 And the fact that the outbreak definition requires three or more cases from different households means that serial transmission directly from one household to another will not meet the definition. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Surge in COVID-19 outbreaks signals drop in public precautions," 18 Oct. 2020 In rural Virginia near Charlottesville, Democrat Cameron Webb, a doctor who works directly with Covid-19 patients, is facing Republican Bob Good. Natalie Andrews, WSJ, "Democrats Look to Expand House Majority," 18 Oct. 2020 World Rugby brought scientists, ethicists, athletes and lawyers together in person, to present calmer arguments directly to the sport’s administrators. The Economist, "Letting trans women play in women’s sports is often unfair," 17 Oct. 2020 Viewers will also be able to tip their favorite queens via Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App during the event, with the total being divided up evenly and distributed directly to the cast. Joey Nolfi,, "See Drag Race star Jaida Essence Hall win Halloween with Aaliyah tribute," 17 Oct. 2020 The year was 1923, the location of the theater was directly across the street from the Alamo. Paula Allen,, "San Antonio’s ‘Million-dollar theater’ of the 1920s was started by father of today’s Santikos movie house chain," 17 Oct. 2020 The truck driver followed the car into the mall parking lot, parked directly behind the suspect’s car, and grabbed the suspect by the wrist to prevent him from walking away. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Tow truck driver avoids crash, turns in OVI suspect: North Olmsted Police Blotter," 17 Oct. 2020 The daughter of a former fashion model and actress, Ms. Fleming grew up in Beverly Hills, was a beauty pageant finalist at 15 and entered movies directly out of high school. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Rhonda Fleming, femme fatale from Hollywood’s golden age, dies at 97," 17 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'directly.' 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 directly


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1795, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for directly

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for directly

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Directly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for directly


How to pronounce directly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of directly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a direct way
: in a straight or direct line from a particular position
: without delay


How to pronounce directly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of directly (Entry 2 of 2)

British : immediately after : as soon as


di·​rect·​ly | \ də-ˈrekt-lē How to pronounce directly (audio) , dī- \

Kids Definition of directly

1 : in a straight course or line She sits directly across from me. The road runs directly north.
2 : straight to or from a source : without interference I spoke directly to the principal.
3 : immediately sense 2 She began directly to work.

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Comments on directly

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