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See more synonyms for misdirect on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to direct or address wrongly or incorrectly: to misdirect a person; to misdirect a letter.
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Origin of misdirect

First recorded in 1595–1605; mis-1 + direct
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for misdirect

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Stall-off, to put off by means of a device, to misdirect purposely.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • They will misdirect you for what the vulgar call "a lark," meaning, in this connection, a jest at your expense.

  • He was going to say "blest;" but he had not been blessed, and he was too technically honest to misdirect in his brief.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • This simile, however, being external, is apt to misdirect the mind.

  • The main secret lies in the combination of the looks and gestures of the performer to misdirect the audience.


    Ellis Stanyon

British Dictionary definitions for misdirect


verb (tr)
  1. to give (a person) wrong directions or instructions
  2. to address (a letter, parcel, etc) wrongly
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Derived Formsmisdirection, 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 misdirect


c.1600, "give wrong directions to;" see mis- (1) + direct (v.). Related: Misdirected; misdirecting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper