• synonyms


[in-duh-rek-shuh n, -dahy-]
See more synonyms for indirection on Thesaurus.com
  1. indirect action or procedure.
  2. a roundabout course or method.
  3. a lack of direction or goal; aimlessness: His efforts were marked by indirection and indecisiveness.
  4. deceitful or dishonest dealing.
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Origin of indirection

1585–95; indirect + -ion, modeled on direction
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indirection

Historical Examples

  • Besides she could not wait to ask her questions by any indirection.

    The Heart of Thunder Mountain

    Edfrid A. Bingham

  • The other was not dull, nor did he usually travel by indirection.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • I could be robbed by indirection, but this was too open and barefaced to be endured.

    My Bondage and My Freedom

    Frederick Douglass

  • Madame Guyon lays bare her heart, but she does it by indirection.

  • It is possible, however, that it may teach a valuable lesson by indirection.

British Dictionary definitions for indirection


  1. indirect procedure, courses, or methods
  2. lack of direction or purpose; aimlessness
  3. indirect dealing; deceit
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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 indirection


c.1600, from indirect + -ion.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper