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

Burton’s first appears in city directories as Burton’s Sundries in 1937. Joy Wallace Dickinson,, "From Burton’s to Buddy, Lawsona’s full of history," 8 Sep. 2019 The legislation would require health insurance companies to maintain accurate lists of all the providers in their networks, and to update their online directories at least monthly. Priyanka Dayal Mccluskey And,, "Lawmakers seek to bolster child health services," 30 July 2019 Two retail shops in Westminster advertised ice cream in an 1880s city directory. Mary Ann Ashcraft,, "Carroll Yesteryears: As National Ice Cream Day approaches, remembering Carroll’s early parlors and creameries," 12 July 2019 No other team lists six female employees at VP or higher levels in their staff directory. Rusty Simmons,, "Warriors among leaders in hiring women execs, but ‘still a lot of work to be done’," 9 June 2019 Beyond meetings and messaging, Slack in recent years has positioned itself as a hub of workplace activity, offering more than 1,500 apps in its directory, according to the company. Angus Loten, WSJ, "Collaboration Market Racing Ahead," 20 Mar. 2019 Residents and visitors who came to town to scour the sales could find a directory of participants’ addresses at Village Hall. Taylor Hartz,, "Nearly 70 families participate in Harwood Heights village garage sale," 24 June 2019 Services include a directory of licensed mental health practitioners in every NBA city as well as Las Vegas. Greg Levinsky, Detroit Free Press, "How the NBA is taking strides in promoting mental health awareness," 24 June 2019 Check out Roadside America, a directory of unusual road stops in the United States, or an app called Next Exit History. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "How to make a road stop with your family like a pro on your next road trip," 20 June 2019

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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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).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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