[in-duh-rekt, -dahy-]


Origin of indirect

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English word from Medieval Latin word indīrēctus. See in-3, direct
Related formsin·di·rect·ly, adverbin·di·rect·ness, nounsem·i-in·di·rect, adjectivesem·i-in·di·rect·ly, adverbsem·i-in·di·rect·ness, noun

Synonyms for indirect Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for indirectness

Historical Examples of indirectness

  • Miriam benignly gazed—it was the perfection of indirectness.

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James

  • There was nothing apologetic in this man, no indirectness in his method of attack.

  • Compare his expressiveness, the expressiveness of his indirectness with that of constatation.


    Ezra Pound

  • We spoke of fear once, though with the indirectness of connection I have mentioned.

    Incredible Adventures

    Algernon Blackwood

  • But the question is one of directness or indirectness of aim.

    The Teacher

    George Herbert Palmer

British Dictionary definitions for indirectness



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
Derived Formsindirectly, adverbindirectness, noun
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 indirectness



late 14c., from Middle French indirect (14c.) or directly from Late Latin indirectus, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + directus (see direct). Related: Indirectness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper