View synonyms for direct


[ dih-rekt, dahy- ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction, etc.:

    He directed the company through a difficult time.

  2. to regulate the course of; control:

    History is directed by a small number of great men and women.

  3. to administer; manage; supervise:

    She directs the affairs of the estate.

  4. to give authoritative instructions to; command; order or ordain:

    I directed him to leave the room.

  5. to serve as a director in the production or performance of (a musical work, play, motion picture, etc.).
  6. to guide, tell, or show (a person) the way to a place:

    I directed him to the post office.

  7. to point, aim, or send toward a place or object:

    to direct radio waves around the globe.

  8. to channel or focus toward a given result, object, or end (often followed by to or toward ):

    She directed all her energies toward the accomplishment of the work.

  9. to address (words, a speech, a written report, etc.) to a person or persons:

    The secretary directed his remarks to two of the committee members.

  10. to address (a letter, package, etc.) to an intended recipient.

verb (used without object)

  1. to act as a guide.
  2. to give commands or orders.
  3. to serve as the director of a play, film, orchestra, etc.


  1. proceeding in a straight line or by the shortest course; straight; undeviating; not oblique:

    a direct route.

  2. proceeding in an unbroken line of descent; lineal rather than collateral:

    a direct descendant.

  3. Mathematics.
    1. (of a proportion) containing terms of which an increase (or decrease) in one results in an increase (or decrease) in another: a term is said to be in direct proportion to another term if one increases (or decreases) as the other increases (or decreases).
    2. (of a function) the function itself, in contrast to its inverse. Compare inverse ( def 2 ).
  4. without intervening persons, influences, factors, etc.; immediate; personal:

    direct contact with the voters; direct exposure to a disease.

  5. the direct remarks of a forthright individual.

    Synonyms: outspoken, sincere, open

  6. the direct opposite.

  7. consisting exactly of the words originally used; verbatim:

    direct quotation.

  8. Government. of or by action of voters, which takes effect without representatives or another intervening agency, as in direct democracy
  9. War will be a direct result of such political action.

  10. allocated for or arising from a particular known agency, process, job, etc.:

    The new machine was listed by the accountant as a direct cost.

  11. Electricity. of or relating to direct current.
  12. Astronomy.
    1. moving in an orbit in the same direction as the earth in its revolution around the sun.
    2. appearing to move on the celestial sphere in the direction of the natural order of the signs of the zodiac, from west to east. Compare retrograde ( def 4 ).
  13. Surveying. (of a telescope) in its normal position; not inverted or transited.
  14. (of dye colors) working without the use of a mordant; substantive.


  1. in a direct manner; directly; straight:

    Answer me direct.


/ daɪ-; dɪˈrɛkt /


  1. to regulate, conduct, or control the affairs of
  2. also intr to give commands or orders with authority to (a person or group)

    he directed them to go away

  3. to tell or show (someone) the way to a place
  4. to aim, point, or cause to move towards a goal
  5. to address (a letter, parcel, etc)
  6. to address (remarks, words, etc)

    to direct comments at someone

  7. also intr to provide guidance to (actors, cameramen, etc) in the rehearsal of a play or the filming of a motion picture
  8. also intr
    1. to conduct (a piece of music or musicians), usually while performing oneself
    2. another word (esp US) for conduct


  1. without delay or evasion; straightforward

    a direct approach

  2. without turning aside; uninterrupted; shortest; straight

    a direct route

  3. without intervening persons or agencies; immediate

    a direct link

  4. honest; frank; candid

    a direct answer

  5. usually prenominal precise; exact

    a direct quotation

  6. diametrical

    the direct opposite

  7. in an unbroken line of descent, as from father to son over succeeding generations

    a direct descendant

  8. (of government, decisions, etc) by or from the electorate rather than through representatives
  9. logic maths (of a proof) progressing from the premises to the conclusion, rather than eliminating the possibility of the falsehood of the conclusion Compare indirect proof
  10. astronomy moving from west to east on the celestial sphere Compare retrograde
    1. of or relating to direct current
    2. (of a secondary induced current) having the same direction as the primary current
  11. music
    1. (of motion) in the same direction See motion
    2. (of an interval or chord) in root position; not inverted


  1. directly; straight

    he went direct to the office

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Derived Forms

  • diˈrectness, noun

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Other Words From

  • di·recta·ble adjective
  • di·rectness noun
  • predi·rect verb (used with object)
  • self-di·recting adjective
  • semi·di·rect adjective
  • semi·di·rectness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of direct1

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English directen (verb) (from Anglo-French ), from Latin dīrēctus, past participle of dīrigere “to align, straighten, guide” (equivalent to dis-, dī- + -rigere, combining form of regere “to guide, rule”); di- 2

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Word History and Origins

Origin of direct1

C14: from Latin dīrectus; from dīrigere to guide, from dis- apart + regere to rule

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Synonym Study

Direct, order, command mean to issue instructions. Direct suggests also giving explanations or advice; the emphasis is not on the authority of the director, but on steps necessary for the accomplishing of a purpose. Order connotes a personal relationship in which one in a superior position imperatively instructs a subordinate to do something. Command, less personal and, often, less specific in detail, suggests greater formality and, sometimes, a more fixed authority on the part of the superior.

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Example Sentences

Players and their direct support teams and essential staff members not able to work from home will be the only players allowed to enter Melbourne Park.

Multiple assistant coaches said they have had to come to terms with the direct impact that the protocols can have on their team’s record, either by cutting down on practice time and in-person meetings or by sidelining players.

In June 2019, Housing Commissioners Stefanie Benvenuto and Ryan Clumpner directed the agency to study the viability of a vacancy fee.

The more common direct-drive motor begins spinning the blades once the machine is turned on, while a clutch-drive motor engages when you move a handle or throw a switch.

Today, Shop Pay’s payment option is used by a number of top direct-to-consumer and newer brands, including Allbirds, Kith, Beyond Yoga, Kylie Cosmetics, Jonathan Adler, Loeffler Randall, Blueland and others.

In 2009, Lee Daniels announced that he would direct Selma and that Liam Neeson would play President Lyndon Johnson.

If someone wants to ensure a direct and secure connection, no entity, whether a hotel or otherwise, should be able to block it.

The twang we hear as emblematic of white country music is actually the direct descendant of black folk music banjo.

Idiocies multiply in direct proportion to the accumulating legal rigidities.

Today they are more direct, especially in many conflict regions of the world.

Each religion claims that its own Bible is the direct revelation of God, and is the only true Bible teaching the only true faith.

The steamboat of 1809 and the steam locomotive of 1830 were the direct result of what had gone before.

It was a direct lie to tell the Austrian commander that an armistice had been arranged and the bridge ceded to the French.

I suppose that to most men such a warning would be a direct incitement to make the attempt.

Even the policeman who is paid to direct you, replies to your inquiry with the shortest and gruffest monosyllable that will do.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say direct?

To direct is to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, or instruction. How is direct different from conduct, guide, and lead? Find out on