in·​di·​rec·​tion | \ ˌin-də-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce indirection (audio) , -(ˌ)dī-\

Definition of indirection

1a : indirect action or procedure
b : lack of direction : aimlessness
2a : lack of straightforwardness and openness : deceitfulness
b : something (such as an act or statement) marked by lack of straightforwardness hated diplomatic indirectionsRev. of Reviews

Examples of indirection in a Sentence

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In fairness, elaboration could detract from Magid’s mode of storytelling, which relies a lot on indirection and leaving things unsaid. Mark Feeney,, "Making an architectural offer that can’t be refused — or can it? — in ‘The Proposal’," 26 June 2019 This is, of course, an indirect evocation of Donald Trump in a movie that doesn’t have much truck with indirection. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘BlacKkKlansman’ Review: Running on Fury," 9 Aug. 2018 His essence has been captured by indirection, via a gigantic lifetime write-around. Tom Zoellner, New York Times, "Paul Theroux’s New Book Ranges From Literature to Landscapes, With Surprising Cheer," 1 June 2018 Unlike Shakespeare, Greenblatt does not choose a strategy of indirection. Glenn C. Althschuler,, "'Tyrant' by Stephen Greenblatt: Shakespeare's ideas on tyranny and resistance," 18 May 2018 The show loves to lampoon moral inconsistencies of Victorian England with Python-like indirection. Hugh Hunter,, "'Peter and the Starcatcher' at Theatre Horizon: Unbridled, unpredictable, riotously funny," 4 May 2018 This is music that comes packed in velvet under any circumstances — the melodies liquid and slightly droopy, the harmonies tinged with indirection — and Bullock’s performance delivered a full helping of sybaritic delight. Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Soprano Julia Bullock cloaks her boldness in vocal velvet," 26 Mar. 2018 Antonioni updated and infused with German romanticism; the various means of indirection through which the hero communicates with his son (Hunter Carson) and wife (Nastassja Kinski) constitute a striking motif. Patrick Friel, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign / On Video / Television / The Internet This week on FilmStruck: Deep in the heart of Texas," 16 Mar. 2018 My poetry imitates or reproduces the way knowledge or awareness comes to me, which is by fits and starts and by indirection. Hillel Italie,, "John Ashbery, 90, celebrated poet," 5 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indirection.' 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 indirection

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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1 Jul 2019

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The first known use of indirection was in 1590

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not constant or steady

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