[dih-rekt-lee, dahy-]



as soon as: Directly he arrived, he mentioned the subject.

Origin of directly

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

Synonyms for directly

2. See immediately. 6. straightforwardly, freely, plainly, unreservedly. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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



in a direct manner
at once; without delay
(foll by before or after) immediately; just


(subordinating) as soon aswe left directly the money arrived
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper