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 John Pleasants continued to appear in the annual city directory as the occupant of 1102 Norfolk Ave. Jeff Sturgeon,, 14 Feb. 2022 Wheel It Forward plans to launch the first nationwide directory of about 700 medical equipment reuse programs. NBC News, 10 Apr. 2022 At Mackenzie’s request, Penn had not listed her contact information in its online directory. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 Fielding has compiled a directory of all the community activities happening in the town, which is very long. Sarah O'connor, Ars Technica, 19 Mar. 2022 Full festival information, including a directory of artists, maps and other policies, can be found at al, 17 Mar. 2022 Latinx Therapy has a national directory of therapists, 98% of whom are Spanish speakers. Los Angeles Times, 29 Dec. 2021 Pankratz wasn't listed in the phone directory for his employer, Applebee's franchise owner Apple Central, when CBS MoneyWatch attempted to reach him on Friday morning. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 25 Mar. 2022 He is listed in the school directory as a program assistant. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near directory

director of photography


directory assistance

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Cite this Entry

“Directory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for directory


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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