mis·​di·​rect | \ ˌmis-də-ˈrekt How to pronounce misdirect (audio) , -(ˌ)dī- \
misdirected; misdirecting; misdirects

Definition of misdirect

transitive verb

1 : to give a wrong direction to
2 : to direct wrongly misdirected their energies

Examples of misdirect in a Sentence

Their mail was misdirected to our address. If he tells you he's not interested, he's trying to misdirect you.
Recent Examples on the Web The author's skillful ability to misdirect the reader to the point that everyone appears guilty is impressive. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2021 Now translucency is a design flourish, a way to direct or misdirect the eye. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 27 Apr. 2021 These reports, which greatly exaggerate the demise of qualified immunity, manage to simultaneously misdirect readers and give short shrift to what lawmakers in these jurisdictions are actually doing. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 13 Apr. 2021 Disinformation is false information spread with the intent to misdirect people about what is happening around them. Ashley Nerbovig, Detroit Free Press, 25 Oct. 2020 Those new logistical complexities introduce the chance for adversaries—using social media, websites, or even old-fashioned postcards and mailers—to confuse or misdirect voters. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, 22 Oct. 2020 The gameplay rewards cunning and deception with the freedom to pass more than once behind the line of scrimmage and misdirect opponents. Gieson Cacho, Star Tribune, 9 Sep. 2020 The play-fake followed by keeper/rollout action misdirected and slowed the Eagles’ four-man pass rush. Rich Campbell, chicagotribune.com, 6 Nov. 2019 Maybe the pandemic is revealing that the techlash was misdirected all along. Elizabeth M. Renieris, Wired, 30 Apr. 2020

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

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for misdirect

Time Traveler

The first known use of misdirect was in 1603

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Misdirect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misdirect. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for misdirect



English Language Learners Definition of misdirect

: to use or direct (something) in a way that is not correct or appropriate
: to send (someone or something) to the wrong place
: to give (someone) incorrect information


mis·​di·​rect | \ ˌmis-də-ˈrekt How to pronounce misdirect (audio) \
misdirected; misdirecting

Kids Definition of misdirect

: to send to the wrong place The mail was misdirected.

More from Merriam-Webster on misdirect

Nglish: Translation of misdirect for Spanish Speakers


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