1 of 2


di·​rec·​to·​ry də-ˈrek-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce directory (audio)
: serving to direct
specifically : providing advisory but not compulsory guidance


2 of 2


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

Examples of directory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Cheers to the deserving winners who have earned their place in this directory of exceptional wines! Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 15 Nov. 2023 Insurers are supposed to keep their provider directories up to date. Julie Appleby, CBS News, 16 Oct. 2023 There’s nothing left here from 1834, the year of the city directory that has the shoemaker living on the east side of Fourth Street SE. John Kelly, Washington Post, 3 Oct. 2023 This has been created as part of the store-wide creative scheme Yellow Pages, which reimagines Selfridges as a directory of now and showcases the latest in fashion, design, and culture. Laura Hawkins, Vogue, 12 Sep. 2023 For regional guides to the standout street murals and extensive directories of music and theater venues as well as the dozens of galleries and museums throughout the city, go to By sunset, Sunset Magazine, 5 Oct. 2023 For instance, there are still no New York State managed care plans with a lactation consultant in their directory, which is a disgrace. Andrea Ippolito, STAT, 1 Sep. 2023 Waymark’s platform is also included in the creative directories of major streaming platforms Hulu and Roku, where ad managers can utilize Waymark’s technology to create top-tier video ads. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 28 Sep. 2023 For our definitive directory to travel in the West, click here. Hugh Garvey, Sunset Magazine, 5 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'directory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near directory

Cite this Entry

“Directory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural directories
: an alphabetical list containing names and addresses
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