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90s Slang You Should Know


[in-duh-rekt, -dahy-] /ˌɪn dəˈrɛkt, -daɪ-/
not in a direct course or path; deviating from a straight line; roundabout:
an indirect course in sailing.
coming or resulting otherwise than directly or immediately, as effects or consequences:
an indirect advantage.
not direct in action or procedure:
His methods are indirect but not dishonest.
not straightforward; devious; deceitful:
He is known as a shady, indirect fellow.
not direct in bearing, application, force, etc.:
indirect evidence.
of, relating to, or characteristic of indirect discourse:
an indirect quote.
not descending in a direct line of succession, as a title or inheritance.
Origin of indirect
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word indīrēctus. See in-3, direct
Related forms
indirectly, adverb
indirectness, noun
semi-indirect, adjective
semi-indirectly, adverb
semi-indirectness, noun
2. incidental, unintentional, secondary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for indirectness
Historical Examples
  • Indeed they reminded me in indirectness of a reply that a Shropshire gentleman assured me he once received from a villager.

    A Leisurely Tour in England James John Hissey
  • But the question is one of directness or indirectness of aim.

    The Teacher George Herbert Palmer
  • The reader may even be annoyed and baffled by my indirectness and unwillingness to be specific.

    The Untroubled Mind Herbert J. Hall
  • These beliefs with their correlative ceremonies have a further resemblance to play in the indirectness of their utility.

  • The tilting of the head a little to one side suggests a habit of indirectness and a tendency to "stall."

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
  • The indirectness of a rite makes it more mysterious and magical, and that is a recommendation.

  • Miriam benignly gazed—it was the perfection of indirectness.

    The Tragic Muse Henry James
  • Full explanations do not remove from some important transactions in his political life an impression of indirectness.

  • Compare his expressiveness, the expressiveness of his indirectness with that of constatation.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • A forger would not thus, by the indirectness of his claim, have deprived himself of the benefits of his forgery.

    The Literature and History of New Testament Times J. Gresham (John Gresham) Machen
British Dictionary definitions for indirectness


deviating from a direct course or line; roundabout; circuitous
not coming as a direct effect or consequence; secondary: indirect benefits
not straightforward, open, or fair; devious or evasive: an indirect insult
(of a title or an inheritance) not inherited in an unbroken line of succession from father to son
Derived Forms
indirectly, adverb
indirectness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for indirectness



late 14c., from Middle French indirect (14c.) or directly from Late Latin indirectus, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + directus (see direct). Related: Indirectness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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