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

The hacker also shared a large directory of spreadsheet files that seemed to contain personal data for Ticketfly customers and employees with the media outlet. Travis M. Andrews,, "Ticketfly has been hacked — here's what you need to know," 5 June 2018 For people who can’t afford a lawyer, Washington LawHelp provides a directory of assistance. Christine Willmsen, The Seattle Times, "Know your," 26 Apr. 2018 The popular site, which acts as consumer directory for information and reviews on medical and recreational weed retailers and services, has taken heat for advertising companies that are not licensed to operate in California. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Who is James P. Bradley and why did he do well in U.S. Senate poll? | The Sacramento Bee," 30 Apr. 2018 The fix seemed pretty simple: as Google suggested, Epic just moved the default storage directory from public external storage to a private chunk of internal storage. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Fortnite’s Android vulnerability leads to Google/Epic Games spat," 27 Aug. 2018 One option is to work with marijuana websites such as Weedmaps and Leafly, which provide directories of pot businesses but aren’t licensed themselves. Dan Adams,, "Boston firm offers marijuana-friendly lodging," 11 July 2018 Insurers’ directories of doctors and hospitals would also need to be made available in that fashion. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, "New Rules Could Ease Patients’ Access to Their Own Health Records," 11 Feb. 2019 Central Michigan tight ends coach/assistant head coach/recruiting coordinator Sherrone Moore is listed as an official employee in the school's online directory. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Central Michigan assistant Sherrone Moore appears headed to Michigan," 11 Jan. 2018 Early on Monday, Apple removed five of the six podcasts from Infowars, Alex Jones's site, from its popular podcast directory. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "YouTube bans Alex Jones, following Facebook and Apple’s lead," 6 Aug. 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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Statistics for directory

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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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 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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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