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

dead, direct, due, plumb, plump, right, straight, straightway

Antonyms: Adverb


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Examples of directly in a Sentence


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.


I came directly I received your message.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The autonomy of the job and to make real life decisions that directly affect stores and results. The Enquirer,, "Top Workplaces Cincinnati: These large companies made the list," 5 June 2019 Carrano is one of the many whose link to dinosaurs came directly from Matternes—specifically his illustrations in a popular 1972 National Geographic book. Roger Catlin, Smithsonian, "Meet the Master Muralist Who Inspired Today’s Generation of Paleoartists," 5 June 2019 Funding for McKay awards comes directly from the state, not corporate contributions. Annie Martin,, "Florida adds new voucher program, more schools receive public money as participation declines," 4 June 2019 Can board members take the lead in pushing companies to directly address social problems? Alan Murray, Fortune, "The Dangers of Social Divisions: CEO Daily," 4 June 2019 Students instead will be working directly with contractors through a career technical education course to learn about the requirements needed for building a facility and following building codes, said Ambria Washington., "In an old laser tag arena, a new high school hopes to set 'a future example’ for learning," 4 June 2019 For example, levels of the main female hormone estradiol drop significantly after menopause, which directly affects the way women carry fat, Dr. Kapoor says. Jo Yurcaba, Woman's Day, "Why Menopause Causes Weight Gain and Why You Shouldn't Worry," 21 May 2019 There’s no scientific research suggesting seed cycling directly affects hormone production and even when the research looks promising, there's still much to be discovered on the topic. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How People Are Using "Seed Cycling" for Hormone Balance (And Whether or Not You Should Try It)," 16 May 2019 Some ways to speed up a hickey's healing is to smear toothpaste on it, brush the bruised area or apply some ice directly to the bruised skin. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Do Hickeys Hurt?," 3 May 2019

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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Statistics for directly

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for directly

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

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More Definitions for directly



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



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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More from Merriam-Webster on directly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for directly

Spanish Central: Translation of directly

Nglish: Translation of directly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of directly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on directly

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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