indirect

adjective
in·​di·​rect | \ ˌin-də-ˈrekt How to pronounce indirect (audio) , -(ˌ)dī- \

Definition of indirect

: not direct: such as
a(1) : deviating from a direct line or course : roundabout
(2) : not going straight to the point an indirect accusation
(3) : being or involving proof of a proposition or theorem by demonstration that its negation leads to an absurdity or contradiction
b : not straightforward and open : deceitful
c : not directly aimed at or achieved indirect consequences
d : stating what a real or supposed original speaker said with changes in wording that conform the statement grammatically to the sentence in which it is included indirect discourse an indirect question
e : not effected by the action of the people or the electorate indirect government representation

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from indirect

indirectly \ ˌin-​də-​ˈrekt-​lē How to pronounce indirect (audio) , -​(ˌ)dī-​ \ adverb
indirectness \ ˌin-​də-​ˈrekt-​nəs How to pronounce indirect (audio) , -​(ˌ)dī-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for indirect

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of indirect in a Sentence

We took an indirect route. These plants grow best in bright indirect light. He gave only vague, indirect answers to our questions. They used indirect methods of investigation. There were many indirect references to his earlier books. Looking at her watch was her indirect way of telling him it was time to leave. Poor nutrition may have been an indirect cause of the disease. The cigarette stubs were indirect evidence that someone had been smoking in the room. “He said that he would call later,” is an example of indirect speech since his actual words were “I'll call later.” an indirect question such as “She asked whether the doctor had arrived”
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Her new bed was chosen for the soft, indirect reading light built into the headboard. The Economist, 8 May 2021 Surprisingly, this is a plant that easily adapts to low temperatures and indirect light. Tamara Gane, Southern Living, 7 May 2021 Keep your aloe plant in a spot with bright, indirect light. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 29 Apr. 2021 Indoors, give lucky bamboo low or medium indirect light, not direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 20 Apr. 2021 What herd immunity implies is that when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease this provides indirect protection to those who are not immune to the disease. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 8 May 2021 Regulators in San Diego have been watching developments closely, saying that an indirect source rule for port operators could be in the works. Joshua Emerson Smith, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2021 Democrats say the break is an indirect, inefficient way of encouraging domestic jobs and investment. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 7 May 2021 Ask yourself questions like, Does my home receive bright direct, bright indirect, moderate, or low light? Kelsey Clark, Glamour, 7 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indirect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of indirect

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for indirect

Middle English, from Medieval Latin indirectus, from Latin in- + directus direct — more at dress

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about indirect

Time Traveler for indirect

Time Traveler

The first known use of indirect was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for indirect

Last Updated

23 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Indirect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indirect. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for indirect

indirect

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of indirect

: not going straight from one point to another
: not said or done in a clear and direct way
: not having a clear and direct connection

indirect

adjective
in·​di·​rect | \ ˌin-də-ˈrekt How to pronounce indirect (audio) , -dī- \

Kids Definition of indirect

1 : not straight or direct an indirect route
2 : not straightforward an indirect answer
3 : not having a plainly seen connection an indirect cause

Other Words from indirect

indirectly adverb
indirectness noun

indirect

adjective
in·​di·​rect | \ ˌin-də-ˈrekt, -dī- How to pronounce indirect (audio) \

Medical Definition of indirect

1 : not direct: as
a : not resulting directly from an action or cause (as a disease) indirect effects of malaria
b : involving intermediate or intervening parts or pathways stimulation of one eye elicits narrowing of the pupil of the other eye by an indirect reaction indirect attachment of a muscle through tendons
2 : involving or being immunofluorescence in which antibodies of two kinds are used of which the first combine with a specific protein and the second contain a fluorescent label and combine with the antibodies of the first type

Other Words from indirect

indirectly adverb

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!