- not in a direct course or path; deviating from a straight line; roundabout: an indirect course in sailing.
- coming or resulting otherwise than directly or immediately, as effects or consequences: an indirect advantage.
- not direct in action or procedure: His methods are indirect but not dishonest.
- not straightforward; devious; deceitful: He is known as a shady, indirect fellow.
- not direct in bearing, application, force, etc.: indirect evidence.
- of, relating to, or characteristic of indirect discourse: an indirect quote.
- not descending in a direct line of succession, as a title or inheritance.
Origin of indirect
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Related Wordsambiguous, tortuous, oblique, incidental, implied, ancillary, circuitous, collateral, circular, complicated, contingent, crooked, devious, discursive, duplicitous, erratic, eventual, long, long-winded, meandering
Examples from the Web for indirect
Living with the threat of random death raining down leads to a strange way of life, a pathology of indirect fire.Dodging Rockets in Afghanistan as the Taliban’s Fighting Season Begins
May 14, 2014
Instead, officials are musing about indirect sources of supply, by and through third countries.CIA Director’s Trip to Kiev Was a Warning to Putin
Leslie H. Gelb
April 16, 2014
And the new channels tend to be underground, indirect, and unaccountable.The Answer to the McCutcheon Decision Is More Big Money in Politics
April 3, 2014
The Saudis don't want an open break with Washington, so their critique is indirect.Saudi Arabia Blames America for the Turmoil in Egypt
August 19, 2013
Police arrested Brooks under a little-known Nevada law that prohibits threats, direct or indirect, against a public officer.The Assemblyman Has a Gun: The Steven Brooks Saga
January 24, 2013
Then here is indirect heredity, that of the collateral branches.Doctor Pascal
Do not grudge labour where the return may be remote and indirect.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
The lights which he throws on his subject are indirect, but they are not the less real for that.Theaetetus
Moreover the science has indirect effects, which are not small.The Republic
It would be difficult, however, to overestimate its indirect consequences.Leading Articles on Various Subjects
- deviating from a direct course or line; roundabout; circuitous
- not coming as a direct effect or consequence; secondaryindirect benefits
- not straightforward, open, or fair; devious or evasivean indirect insult
- (of a title or an inheritance) not inherited in an unbroken line of succession from father to son
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 indirect
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper