in·​di·​rec·​tion ˌin-də-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce indirection (audio)
: indirect action or procedure
: lack of direction : aimlessness
: lack of straightforwardness and openness : deceitfulness
: something (such as an act or statement) marked by lack of straightforwardness
hated diplomatic indirectionsRev. of Reviews

Examples of indirection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His direction is the art of indirection, something borne out by other films in the MOMA retrospective. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 17 Apr. 2024 The statute explicitly prohibits targeting Americans for surveillance — including by indirection (i.e., targeting non-Americans only as a pretext to spy on Americans with whom the foreigners are in contact). The Editors, National Review, 12 Apr. 2024 Here, the explanation for such caution and indirection is straightforward and compelling. Peter Skerry, Foreign Affairs, 8 Apr. 2017 As soon as people have choices, the system has to have this indirection. IEEE Spectrum, 29 Nov. 2023 Computing’s main tricks are abstraction and indirection. Barath Raghavan, IEEE Spectrum, 5 Nov. 2023 The indirection is not purposeless; Edelman is building the service roads to his main argument. Jesse Green, New York Times, 27 June 2023 Another form of indirection is employing art history. Mark Feeney,, 7 June 2023 No more indirection for me. Darryl Pinckney, The New York Review of Books, 20 Aug. 2020

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

Word History

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of indirection was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near indirection

Cite this Entry

“Indirection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on indirection

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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