indirect

adjective

in·​di·​rect ˌin-də-ˈrekt How to pronounce indirect (audio)
-(ˌ)dī-
: 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
indirectly adverb
indirectness noun

Example Sentences

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 Attorneys for Gee said CTE, which is found in athletes and military veterans who suffered repetitive brain injuries, was an indirect cause of death because head trauma has been shown to promote substance abuse. Brian Melley, ajc, 23 Nov. 2022 Attorneys for Gee said CTE, which is found in athletes and military veterans who suffered repetitive brain injuries, was an indirect cause of death because head trauma has been shown to promote substance abuse. Brian Melley, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Nov. 2022 Attorneys for Gee said CTE, which is found in athletes and military veterans who suffered repetitive brain injuries, was an indirect cause of death because head trauma has been shown to promote substance abuse. CBS News, 22 Nov. 2022 Attorneys for Gee said that CTE, which is found in athletes and military veterans who suffered repetitive brain injuries, was an indirect cause of death because head trauma has been shown to promote substance abuse. Brian Melley, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2022 Alongside the photo, the HGTV personality's husband wrote a caption that some of his followers thought contained an indirect dig at his wife's ex, after their public feuding over custody issues related to Hudson. Georgia Slater, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2022 The referee awards an indirect freekick to the defending team when upon ruling offside. Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAY, 20 Nov. 2022 Alister Henskens said the support will help create 472 direct and 554 indirect jobs by 2024. Patrick Frater, Variety, 16 Nov. 2022 The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp, The Washington State Investment Board and others were indirect investors in FTX through Sequoia and other venture capital firms. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 15 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near indirect

Cite this Entry

“Indirect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indirect. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

indirect

adjective

in·​di·​rect ˌin-də-ˈrekt How to pronounce indirect (audio)
-dī-
1
: not straight or direct
an indirect route
2
: not straightforward
indirect methods
an indirect answer
3
: not having a plainly seen connection
an indirect cause
4
: stating what an original speaker said with changes in wording that make the statement fit grammatically with the rest of the sentence
"that he would call" in "He said that he would call" is in indirect discourse
indirectly adverb
indirectness noun

Medical Definition

indirect

adjective

in·​di·​rect ˌin-də-ˈrekt, -dī- How to pronounce indirect (audio)
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
indirectly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on indirect

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