di·​rec·​to·​ry | \ də-ˈrek-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce directory (audio) , dī-\

Definition of directory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving to direct specifically : providing advisory but not compulsory guidance


plural directories

Definition of directory (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a book or collection of directions, rules, or ordinances
b : an alphabetical or classified list (as of names and addresses)
2 : a body of directors

Examples of directory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When Azenabor was charged in March, he was listed in the university's College of Health Sciences faculty directory as a professor with expertise in infectious diseases and immunity. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "UWM professor charged with sexual assault of students has fled the country," 18 July 2019 Launched in 2013, the Social Stock Exchange in London (UK), for instance, functions as a directory connecting social enterprises with potential investors. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Are Indian social enterprises ready to benefit from the proposed social stock exchange?," 8 July 2019 Before serving in the Senate, Warren had described herself as a minority in professional directories. Ed O'keefe, CBS News, "Elizabeth Warren publicly apologizes for first time over controversial DNA test," 19 Aug. 2019 Best of all, the directory requires that people who source from the list promise to pay the talent an equitable wage and provide an inclusive working environment. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Who Won the Democratic Debate?: raceAhead," 1 Aug. 2019 The Post obtained a link to the dark Web directory that hackers first sent to the Register, a British tech news site. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Hacked documents reveal sensitive details of expanding U.S. border surveillance," 21 June 2019 The California Department of Education keeps a directory of the schools across the state, which currently includes the names of both Ravenswood Middle School and Cesar Chavez Academy. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "Residents outraged that Cesar Chavez may be dropped from school name," 31 July 2019 Where to get help Postpartum Support International (PSI) offers a 24-hour helpline at 800-944-4773, and a directory of support groups and contacts that specialize in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "'You are not alone': How to identify and get help for postpartum depression," 20 June 2019 According to Ted Johnson, the Timberwolves’ chief strategy officer, only 10 names on the current Timberwolves staff directory were also there in 2004. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Timberwolves’ Jimmy Butler Rekindles Playoff Fire in Minnesota," 22 Apr. 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for directory


Middle English directorie guide, from Medieval Latin directorium, from neuter of Late Latin directorius directorial, from Latin dirigere

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Time Traveler for directory

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

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English Language Learners Definition of directory

: a book that contains an alphabetical list of names of people, businesses, etc.


di·​rec·​to·​ry | \ də-ˈrek-tə-rē How to pronounce directory (audio) , dī-\
plural directories

Kids Definition of directory

: a book containing an alphabetical list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers

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Comments on directory

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


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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