direct 1 of 3

as in to channel
to cause to move to a central point or along a restricted pathway the aqueduct directs the water into an artificial lake

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in to request
to request the doing of by virtue of one's authority the caretaker directed that all of the windows be closed before we left

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in to steer
to point out the way for (someone) especially from a position in front the guide directed the tour through the museum with commendable efficiency and expertise

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Antonyms & Near Antonyms


2 of 3


as in primary
done or working without something else coming in between a zoologist whose works are based entirely on her direct observation of animals in the wild the virus was the direct cause of the disease

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms



3 of 3


Synonym Chooser

How does the verb direct contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of direct are bid, charge, command, enjoin, instruct, and order. While all these words mean "to issue orders," direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality.

directed her assistant to hold all calls
the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark

When would bid be a good substitute for direct?

The synonyms bid and direct are sometimes interchangeable, but bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants).

she bade him be seated

How do charge and enjoin relate to one another, in the sense of direct?

Charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility.

charged by the President with a secret mission

How are the words command and order related as synonyms of direct?

Both command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality; command stresses official exercise of authority.

a general commanding troops

When might enjoin be a better fit than direct?

While the synonyms enjoin and direct are close in meaning, enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude.

a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet

When is it sensible to use order instead of direct?

While in some cases nearly identical to direct, order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise.

ordered his employees about like slaves

Thesaurus Entries Near direct

Cite this Entry

“Direct.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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