• synonyms


[dih-rekt-lee, dahy-]
See more synonyms for directly on Thesaurus.com
  1. in a direct line, way, or manner; straight: The path leads directly to the lake.
  2. at once; without delay; immediately: Do that directly.
  3. shortly; soon: They will be here directly.
  4. exactly; precisely: directly opposite the store.
  5. without intervening space; next in order: The truck was parked directly behind my car.
  6. openly or frankly; candidly: He didn't hesitate to speak directly about his debts.
  7. Mathematics. in direct proportion.
Show More
  1. as soon as: Directly he arrived, he mentioned the subject.
Show More

Origin of directly

First recorded in 1350–1400, directly is from the Middle English word directli. See direct, -ly

Synonyms for directly

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
2. See immediately. 6. straightforwardly, freely, plainly, unreservedly.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for directly

straight, precisely, shortly, instantaneously, promptly, immediately, quickly, instantly, candidly, openly, honestly, personally, direct, forthwith, straightaway, beeline, dead, due, exactly, plump

Examples from the Web for directly

Contemporary Examples of directly

Historical Examples of directly

  • I fetched up at an exit on the side street, and there they were directly in front of me.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The Nile was directly responsible for this useful development.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Directly they had reached the privacy of the street they became quieter.

  • The joint of the 20-foot pieces should be directly in the center of the 10-foot piece.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • "The table is directly in front of you," came the Leopard Woman's voice.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for directly


  1. in a direct manner
  2. at once; without delay
  3. (foll by before or after) immediately; just
Show More
  1. (subordinating) as soon aswe left directly the money arrived
Show More
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 directly


1510s, "in a straight line," from direct (adj.) + -ly (2). Figurative use is slightly earlier (c.1500). Meaning "at once, immediately in time" (c.1600) is from earlier sense of "without intermediate steps" (1520s).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper