from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Diverging from a direct course; roundabout.
  • adj. Not proceeding straight to the point or object.
  • adj. Not forthright and candid; devious.
  • adj. Not directly planned for; secondary: indirect benefits.
  • adj. Reporting the exact or approximate words of another with such changes as are necessary to bring the original statement into grammatical conformity with the sentence in which it is included: indirect discourse.
  • adj. Logic Involving, relating to, or being the proof of a statement by the demonstration of the impossibility or absurdity of the statement's negation.
  • adj. Sports Being a free kick in soccer by which a goal cannot be scored without the ball being touched by a second player.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Not direct; roundabout; deceiving; setting a trap; confusing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not direct; not straight or rectilinear; deviating from a direct line or course; circuitous.
  • adj. Not tending to an aim, purpose, or result by the plainest course, or by obvious means, but obliquely or consequentially; by remote means.
  • adj. Not straightforward or upright; unfair; dishonest; tending to mislead or deceive.
  • adj. Not resulting directly from an act or cause, but more or less remotely connected with or growing out of it.
  • adj. Not reaching the end aimed at by the most plain and direct method

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not direct in space; deviating from a straight line; devious; circuitous: as, an indirect course in sailing.
  • Not direct in succession or descent; not lineal; of irregular derivation; out of direct line from the prime source or origin: as, indirect descent or inheritance; an indirect claim; indirect information.
  • Not direct in relation or connection; not having an immediate bearing or application; not related in the natural way; oblique; incidental; inferential: as, an indirect answer; an indirect effect; indirect taxes.
  • Not direct in action or procedure; not in the usual course; not straightforward; not fair and open; equivocal: as, indirect means of accomplishing an object.
  • Unfair, dishonest, dishonorable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action
  • adj. not as a direct effect or consequence
  • adj. having intervening factors or persons or influences
  • adj. not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination
  • adj. descended from a common ancestor but through different lines


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From in- +‎ direct


  • They were crammed with what we term indirect workers—workers on their way to relieve a fellow employee, machine repairers en route to troubleshoot a problem, housekeepers, inventory runners.

    The Machine That Changed the World

  • In a small group, say a village, what we call indirect reciprocity bestows tremendous advantages, by allowing me to benefit from the experience that others in our clan had when dealing with you.


  • What they've been doing is what we call indirect attack.

    CNN Transcript Jun 24, 2005

  • Often there are more deaths associated with hurricanes after the hurricane has passed - what we refer to as the indirect loss of life -- traffic accidents because street lights are out, downed power lines, a misuse of generators, and sometimes fires from candles, and other threats as well.

    CNN Transcript Oct 24, 2005

  • The newspaper, one of Brazil's largest, said it had been receiving until Sunday what it characterized as "indirect information" indicating Andrei Netto was all right in the region of Zawiya. - News

  • The newspaper, one of Brazil's largest, said it had been receiving until Sunday what it characterized as "indirect information" indicating Andrei Netto was alright in the region of Zawiya.

    Breaking News: CBS News

  • Despite Norway's emphasis on egalitarianism and tolerance, Mr. Ahmed's brother, Khalid, said the family met with what he described as "indirect racism."

    NYT > Home Page

  • A cross section of subscribers who bared their minds to Vanguard Mobile Week expressed displeasure over what they called indirect extortion by GSM operators, poor quality of service etc.

    AllAfrica News: Latest

  • Palestinian leaders have agreed to begin indirect peace talks with Israel, a Palestinian official said Saturday.

    POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: Monday, May 10, 2010

  • The currency trades at dispute in the Los Angeles pension fund case are called "indirect" or "standing-instruction" trades.

    Inside a Battle Over Forex


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