View synonyms for direction


[ dih-rek-shuhn, dahy- ]


  1. the act or an instance of directing.
  2. the line along which anything lies, faces, moves, etc., with reference to the point or region toward which it is directed: directed:

    The storm moved in a northerly direction.

  3. the point or region itself:

    The direction is north.

  4. a position on a line extending from a specific point toward a point of the compass or toward the nadir or the zenith.
  5. a line of thought or action or a tendency or inclination:

    the direction of contemporary thought.

  6. Usually directions. instruction or guidance for making, using, etc.:

    directions for baking a cake.

  7. order; command.
  8. management; control; guidance; supervision:

    a company under good direction.

  9. the name and address of the intended recipient as written on a letter, package, etc.
  10. decisions in a stage or film production as to stage business, speaking of lines, lighting, and general presentation.
  11. the technique, act, or business of making such decisions, managing and training a cast of actors, etc.
  12. the technique, act, or business of directing an orchestra, concert, or other musical presentation or group.
  13. Music. a symbol or phrase that indicates in a score the proper tempo, style of performance, mood, etc.
  14. a purpose or orientation toward a goal that serves to guide or motivate; focus:

    He doesn't seem to have any direction in life.


/ dɪˈrɛkʃən; daɪ- /


  1. the act of directing or the state of being directed
  2. management, control, or guidance
  3. the work of a stage or film director
  4. the course or line along which a person or thing moves, points, or lies
  5. the course along which a ship, aircraft, etc, is travelling, expressed as the angle between true or magnetic north and an imaginary line through the main fore-and-aft axis of the vessel
  6. the place towards which a person or thing is directed
  7. a line of action; course
  8. the name and address on a letter, parcel, etc
  9. music the process of conducting an orchestra, choir, etc
  10. music an instruction in the form of a word or symbol heading or occurring in the body of a passage, movement, or piece to indicate tempo, dynamics, mood, etc
  11. modifier maths
    1. (of an angle) being any one of the three angles that a line in space makes with the three positive directions of the coordinate axes. Usually given as α, β, and γ with respect to the x-, y-, and z- axes
    2. (of a cosine) being the cosine of any of the direction angles

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Other Words From

  • di·rection·less adjective
  • predi·rection noun
  • self-di·rection noun
  • super·di·rection noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of direction1

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English direccioun, from Middle French, from Latin dīrēctiōn-, stem of dīrēctiō “arranging in line, straightening”; equivalent to direct + -ion
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Idioms and Phrases

see step in the right direction .
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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

Now, barely a week later, Epstein's home in North Hollywood, California, has AT&T fiber service with unlimited data and advertised speeds of 300Mbps in both directions.

Light winds pick up just a tad from the northeasterly direction before dawn.

Those fans can take today’s hearing as a step, however small, in the direction of Spears’s increased autonomy.

In every direction, seawater creeps higher and higher, slopping across the floor of nearby buildings.

Either of those words alone point in the direction of filling, comfort-food satisfaction, but together they are practically a guarantee.

Pleasure shoots magically in every direction like an explosion of sparks.

Absent a body, no one can say with absolute certainty whether Castro is dead, even if all signs point in that direction.

An arrow appears indicating the direction you will launch your ball.

They had hoped the autopsy would show Brinsley had eaten something that would point them in the right direction.

The ATSB has been impressive in the way it has taken over the direction of the search for Flight 370.

A lateen sail was visible in the direction of Cat Island, and others to the south seemed almost motionless in the far distance.

After a bit of waiting, Mac decided that the smoke was floating from a certain direction, and we began to edge carefully that way.

Even genius, however, needs direction and adjustment to secure the most perfect and reliable results.

Now many people think that we are moving in the direction of world socialism to-day.

His superior talents and untiring industry were under the direction of philanthropic and Christian impulses.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




direct inputdirectional