direction

noun
di·​rec·​tion | \ də-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce direction (audio) , dī- \

Essential Meaning of direction

1 : the course or path on which something is moving or pointing The army attacked from three different directions. Down the road, he could see a bus coming from the opposite direction. See More ExamplesThe wind changed direction and started blowing in our faces. I've got a bad sense of direction. [=I become lost frequently; I often don't know which way to go]Hide
2 : a statement that tells a person what to do and how to do it : an order or instruction Carefully read the directions before you begin the test. Directions appear on the package. You have to learn to follow directions. [=do what you are told or are instructed to do]
3 : instructions that tell you how to go to a place We had to stop to ask for directions to the beach. Excuse me. Could you please give me directions to the movie theater?

Full Definition of direction

1 : guidance or supervision of action or conduct : management working under the direction of the doctor
2 archaic : the address placed on the outside of a letter or package to be delivered : superscription
3a : an explicit instruction : order carefully read the directions follow directions
b : assistance in pointing out the proper route usually used in plural asked for directions to the beach
4 : the line or course on which something is moving or is aimed to move or along which something is pointing or facing came from the opposite direction walking in the same direction
5 archaic : directorate sense 1
6a : a channel or direct course of thought or action deciding which direction to take as a writer
c : a guiding, governing, or motivating purpose His life lacked direction.
7a : the art and technique of supervising the production of a show or performance : the art and technique of directing an orchestra, band, or a show (as for stage or screen)
b music : a word, phrase, or sign indicating the appropriate tempo, mood, or intensity of a passage (see passage entry 1 sense 6b) or movement (see movement sense 4c)

Other Words from direction

directionless \ də-​ˈrek-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce direction (audio) \ adjective
directionlessness noun

Examples of direction in a Sentence

The army attacked from three different directions. Down the road, he could see a bus coming from the opposite direction. The wind changed direction and started blowing in our faces. Carefully read the directions before you begin the test. Directions appear on the package. We had to stop to ask for directions to the beach. Excuse me. Could you please give me directions to the movie theater? He was put in charge and given overall direction of the program. Twenty-three employees work under her direction. Several nurses working under the direction of this doctor have made complaints.
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Recent Examples on the Web The suspect, described as a male wearing a brown jumpsuit, fled on foot in an unknown direction, police said. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, 7 Jan. 2022 Anything but anticlimactic, these reversals of the usual emotional direction proved powerfully tenacious. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 7 Jan. 2022 If Donald Trump was looking for direction in the special House committee’s investigation into the deadly Capitol attacks, the former president now has an unsettling roadmap. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2022 In the Marxist canon there was good (the working class) vs. evil (capitalists), a path of redemption (revolution), the hope of heaven (a utopian future), and the certainty of final triumph (the direction of history). Francis X. Maier, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022 That staffer, at Spivey's direction, met in January 2020 with the FBI source, who handed over a $10,000 payment to support a birthday party fundraiser for Spivey. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, 6 Jan. 2022 From learning our position and direction in the galaxy to understanding the boundary between our sun’s outermost reaches and the surrounding cosmos, these missions could inspire multiple generations of scientists and the public alike. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 6 Jan. 2022 Focusing on an older demo or changing up CW’s focus to a more homey-heartland direction as the way to boost ratings and viewership, and thus ad sales. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 6 Jan. 2022 And that puts the onus on the leaders of the organization, starting at the top with McCaskey and the board of directors, to establish direction and affirm their priorities. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, 6 Jan. 2022

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for direction

see direct entry 1

Learn More About direction

Time Traveler for direction

Time Traveler

The first known use of direction was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near direction

direct investment

direction

directional

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Statistics for direction

Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Direction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/direction. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for direction

direction

noun
di·​rec·​tion | \ də-ˈrek-shən How to pronounce direction (audio) , dī- \

Kids Definition of direction

1 : the path along which something moves, lies, or points I'm coming from the opposite direction.
2 : an order or instruction to be followed Read the directions first.
3 : instructions on how to get somewhere
4 : supervision, management He took over direction of the project.

More from Merriam-Webster on direction

Nglish: Translation of direction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of direction for Arabic Speakers

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