[dih-rek-tid, dahy-]


guided, regulated, or managed: a carefully directed program.
subject to direction, guidance, regulation, etc.
Mathematics. (of an angle or vector) having positive or negative direction or orientation assigned.

Nearby words

  1. direct-mail shot,
  2. direct-mailer,
  3. direct-reading,
  4. direct-vision prism,
  5. direct-vision spectroscope,
  6. directed angle,
  7. directed verdict,
  8. directed-energy device,
  9. directing,
  10. direction

Origin of directed

First recorded in 1530–40; direct + -ed2

Related formsdi·rect·ed·ness, nouno·ver·di·rect·ed, adjectiveself-di·rect·ed, adjectivewell-di·rect·ed, adjective


[dih-rekt, dahy-]

verb (used with object)

to manage or guide by advice, helpful information, instruction, etc.: He directed the company through a difficult time.
to regulate the course of; control: History is directed by a small number of great men and women.
to administer; manage; supervise: She directs the affairs of the estate.
to give authoritative instructions to; command; order or ordain: I directed him to leave the room.
to serve as a director in the production or performance of (a musical work, play, motion picture, etc.).
to guide, tell, or show (a person) the way to a place: I directed him to the post office.
to point, aim, or send toward a place or object: to direct radio waves around the globe.
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.
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.
to address (a letter, package, etc.) to an intended recipient.

verb (used without object)

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


proceeding in a straight line or by the shortest course; straight; undeviating; not oblique: a direct route.
proceeding in an unbroken line of descent; lineal rather than collateral: a direct descendant.
  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).
without intervening persons, influences, factors, etc.; immediate; personal: direct contact with the voters; direct exposure to a disease.
straightforward; frank; candid: the direct remarks of a forthright individual.
absolute; exact: the direct opposite.
consisting exactly of the words originally used; verbatim: direct quotation.
Government. of or by action of voters, which takes effect without representatives or another intervening agency, as in direct democracy.
inevitable; consequential: War will be a direct result of such political action.
allocated for or arising from a particular known agency, process, job, etc.: The new machine was listed by the accountant as a direct cost.
Electricity. of or relating to direct current.
  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).
Surveying. (of a telescope) in its normal position; not inverted or transited.
(of dye colors) working without the use of a mordant; substantive.


in a direct manner; directly; straight: Answer me direct.

Origin of direct

1325–75; Middle English direct (adj., adv.), directen (v.) (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīrēctus, dērēctus (the latter probably the orig. form, later reanalyzed as dī- di-2), past participle of dērigere to align, straighten, guide (dē- de- + -rigere, combining form of regere to guide, rule)

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See guide. 4. 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for directed

British Dictionary definitions for directed



maths (of a number, line, or angle) having either a positive or negative sign to distinguish measurement in one direction or orientation from that in the opposite direction or orientation


verb (mainly tr)

to regulate, conduct, or control the affairs of
(also intr) to give commands or orders with authority to (a person or group)he directed them to go away
to tell or show (someone) the way to a place
to aim, point, or cause to move towards a goal
to address (a letter, parcel, etc)
to address (remarks, words, etc)to direct comments at someone
(also intr) to provide guidance to (actors, cameramen, etc) in the rehearsal of a play or the filming of a motion picture
(also intr)
  1. to conduct (a piece of music or musicians), usually while performing oneself
  2. another word (esp US) for conduct (def. 9)


without delay or evasion; straightforwarda direct approach
without turning aside; uninterrupted; shortest; straighta direct route
without intervening persons or agencies; immediatea direct link
honest; frank; candida direct answer
(usually prenominal) precise; exacta direct quotation
diametricalthe direct opposite
in an unbroken line of descent, as from father to son over succeeding generationsa direct descendant
(of government, decisions, etc) by or from the electorate rather than through representatives
logic maths (of a proof) progressing from the premises to the conclusion, rather than eliminating the possibility of the falsehood of the conclusionCompare indirect proof
astronomy moving from west to east on the celestial sphereCompare retrograde (def. 4a)
  1. of or relating to direct current
  2. (of a secondary induced current) having the same direction as the primary current
  1. (of motion) in the same directionSee motion (def. 9)
  2. (of an interval or chord) in root position; not inverted


directly; straighthe went direct to the office
Derived Formsdirectness, noun

Word Origin for direct

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

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

Word Origin and History for directed
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper