di·​rec·​to·​ry | \də-ˈrek-t(ə-)rē, 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

SQUEAKCITY Melissa Elders, who founded the dining club Nibble & squeak — which runs events that allow people to attend with youngsters, even babies — has created a new restaurant directory with that audience in mind. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Korean Food Under a Japanese Influence, at the Bari," 8 May 2018 McLaughlin is not currently enrolled at UC Santa Barbara, according to the school's directory. Danny Moran,, "Former Oregon State men's basketball guard JaQuori McLaughlin to attend UC Santa Barbara," 26 Jan. 2018 Take action: The Family Caregiver Support Program of the Health and Human Services Agency of San Diego County offers a directory of services and links to help free your caregiving schedule. Doug Williams,, "Balancing act: When you are in the sandwich generation," 27 Apr. 2018 His salary last year was $250,000, according to the university's online directory. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan staffer Fergus Connolly arrested on suspicion of drunk driving," 7 Mar. 2018 There are roughly a dozen inspectors general, Cunha included, whose jurisdiction includes an entire state, according to a directory kept by the Association of Inspectors General. Matt Stout,, "One of the state’s highest-paid officials is poised to get another raise," 10 May 2018 To find out how your state will be celebrating, check out this directory. Olivia Simone, Woman's Day, "Happy Earth Day 2014!," 22 Apr. 2014 According to the 1912 directory, their father, A.B. Slimp, and Chester both worked at the Dixie Oil Co. at 400 E. Commerce — all in plausible walking distance within the same wide area southeast of the center city. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, "Small world southeast of downtown San Antonio fell to progress," 16 June 2018 There is no official directory, but the statue of Brooks is believed to be only the second statue or bust of an African-American woman in the city. Lolly Bowean,, "On Gwendolyn Brooks' birthday, a statue of the powerful poet will be unveiled on the South Side," 6 June 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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More Definitions for directory



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, dī-\
plural directories

Kids Definition of directory

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on directory

Spanish Central: Translation of directory

Nglish: Translation of directory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of directory for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about directory

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playful or foolish behavior

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