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

Goldman said the charges were misdirected and would be vigorously defended. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Readers Respond to Walmart’s Gun Sales: CEO Daily," 9 Aug. 2019 And when authoritarian strongmen take control of the government, laws that were once thought to be harmless can easily be misdirected to deeply oppressive uses. Yascha Mounk, The New Republic, "Germany’s risky law for stopping hate speech on Facebook and Twitter," 3 Apr. 2018 However misdirected the current ire, the multilateral system for restraining currency manipulation is indeed toothless. The Economist, "America considers retaliating against currency manipulation," 27 July 2019 Then earlier this month, the FBI arrested former members of the Roselló administration on charges of misdirecting public funds to cronies. Ana Campoy, Quartz, "Insults from their own governor finally pushed Puerto Ricans over the edge," 25 July 2019 One of the firms listed may be FedEx, after the U.S. courier company misdirected or returned Huawei packages twice. Samantha Masunagastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Huawei helped North Korea build its wireless network, report says," 22 July 2019 The prey emits a glowing fluid or a cloud of sparks to misdirect the predator from its real location. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "How bioluminescence works in nature," 2 May 2019 China opened a probe because FedEx violated Chinese laws and regulations and harmed customers by misdirecting packages, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "China fines Ford for antitrust violations as trade war escalates," 5 June 2019 The new research is more systematic, looking at the underlying mechanisms behind both Meltdown and Spectre and running through all the different ways the speculative execution can be misdirected. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Spectre, Meltdown researchers unveil 7 more speculative execution attacks," 14 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for misdirect

Last Updated

31 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for misdirect

The first known use of misdirect was in 1603

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with misdirect

Nglish: Translation of misdirect for Spanish Speakers

Comments on misdirect

What made you want to look up misdirect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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