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 San Jose State quietly removed his name from the staff directory, and in response to questions from USA TODAY said Shaw had resigned. Kenny Jacoby And Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, "Former San Jose State U top trainer found responsible for sexual misconduct in state probe," 26 Feb. 2021 The directory—which will feature full and part-time jobs, freelance opportunities, and internships—officially launches this Friday. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "CFDA Launches New Initiative Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement," 22 Feb. 2021 Created by filmmaker/web designer Jeremy Leroux, the directory was seeded with roughly two dozen artists who had publicly identified as LGBTQ+. Tom Roland, Billboard, "Country Queer Publisher On T.J. Osborne, Morgan Wallen & Moving the Genre Forward," 10 Feb. 2021 Looking through the Brunswick alumni directory didn’t turn up anything, and there were no 1942 yearbooks in the collection. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Mystery of Brunswick High School class ring has been solved," 15 Jan. 2021 Epstein is listed on the Northwestern’s directory of emeritus members. Kelli Smith,, "Following Jill Biden essay, Northwestern University distances itself from former lecturer Joseph Epstein, calls his views on her use of ‘Dr.’ title ‘misogynistic’," 14 Dec. 2020 The directory organizes small vendors by product type, from hobby supplies and clothes to health and wellness and pets. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "Small Business Saturday 2020: How to support local businesses," 27 Nov. 2020 The directory shows that at least 15 members attended last month's White House ceremony where Barrett accepted Trump's nomination. Michael Biesecker And Brian Slodysko, Star Tribune, "Barrett ads tied to interest groups funded by unnamed donors," 26 Oct. 2020 The alumnae directory and other symbols representative of the school’s history are also under the tower’s base. Staff Report,, "St. Mary's Dominican High School students leave their marks on campus landmark," 27 Jan. 2021

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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Directory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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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