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

  • transitive v. To manage or conduct the affairs of; regulate.
  • transitive v. To have or take charge of; control. See Synonyms at conduct.
  • transitive v. To give authoritative instructions to: directed the student to answer.
  • transitive v. To cause to move toward a goal; aim. See Synonyms at aim.
  • transitive v. To show or indicate the way for: directed us to the airport.
  • transitive v. To cause to move in or follow a straight course: directed their fire at the target.
  • transitive v. To indicate the intended recipient on (a letter, for example).
  • transitive v. To address or adapt (remarks, for example) to a specific person, audience, or purpose.
  • transitive v. To give guidance and instruction to (actors or musicians, for example) in the rehearsal and performance of a work.
  • transitive v. To supervise the performance of.
  • intransitive v. To give commands or directions.
  • intransitive v. To conduct a performance or rehearsal.
  • adj. Proceeding without interruption in a straight course or line; not deviating or swerving: a direct route.
  • adj. Straightforward and candid; frank: a direct response.
  • adj. Having no intervening persons, conditions, or agencies; immediate: direct contact; direct sunlight.
  • adj. Effected by action of the voters, rather than through elected representatives or delegates: direct elections.
  • adj. Being of unbroken descent; lineal: a direct descendant of the monarch.
  • adj. Consisting of the exact words of the writer or speaker: a direct quotation; direct speech.
  • adj. Lacking compromising or mitigating elements; absolute: direct opposites.
  • adj. Mathematics Varying in the same manner as another quantity, especially increasing if another quantity increases or decreasing if it decreases.
  • adj. Astronomy Designating west-to-east motion of a planet in the same direction as the sun's movement against the stars.
  • adj. Sports Being a free kick in soccer by which a goal can be scored without the ball being touched by a second player.
  • adv. Straight; directly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Straight, constant, without interruption.
  • adv. Directly.
  • v. To manage, control, steer.
  • v. To aim (something) at (something else).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Straight; not crooked, oblique, or circuitous; leading by the short or shortest way to a point or end
  • adj. Straightforward; not of crooked ways, or swerving from truth and openness; sincere; outspoken.
  • adj. Immediate; express; plain; unambiguous.
  • adj. In the line of descent; not collateral.
  • adj. In the direction of the general planetary motion, or from west to east; in the order of the signs; not retrograde; -- said of the motion of a celestial body.
  • adj. Pertaining to, or effected immediately by, action of the people through their votes instead of through one or more representatives or delegates.
  • n. A character, thus [�], placed at the end of a staff on the line or space of the first note of the next staff, to apprise the performer of its situation.
  • intransitive v. To give direction; to point out a course; to act as guide.
  • transitive v. To arrange in a direct or straight line, as against a mark, or towards a goal; to point; to aim.
  • transitive v. To point out or show to (any one), as the direct or right course or way; to guide, as by pointing out the way.
  • transitive v. To determine the direction or course of; to cause to go on in a particular manner; to order in the way to a certain end; to regulate; to govern.
  • transitive v. To point out to with authority; to instruct as a superior; to order.
  • transitive v. To put a direction or address upon; to mark with the name and residence of the person to whom anything is sent; to superscribe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Straight; undeviating; not oblique, crooked, circuitous, refracted, or collateral: as, to pass in a direct lino from one body or place to another; a direct course or aim; a direct ray of light; direct descent (that is, descent in an unbroken line through male ancestors).
  • In astronomy, appearing to move forward in the zodiac according to the natural order and succession of the signs, or from west to east: opposed to retrograde: as, the motion of a planet is direct
  • Having a character, relation, or action analogous to that of straightness of direction or motion: as, a direct interest (that is, part ownership) in a property or business.
  • In the natural, unreflecting way; proceeding by a simple method to attain an object; without modifying one's procedure owing to recondite considerations; explicit; free from the influence of extraneous circumstances.
  • Plain; express; not ambiguous; straight forward; positive: as, he made a direct acknowledgment.
  • Straightforward; characterized by the absence of equivocation or ambiguousness; open; ingenuous; sincere.
  • In logic, proceeding from antecedent to consequent, from cause to effect, etc.
  • To point or aim in a straight line toward a place or an object; cause to move, act, or work toward a certain object or end; determine in respect to direction: as, to direct an arrow or a piece of ordnance; to direct the eye; to direct a course or flight.
  • To point out or make known a course to; impart information or advice to for guidance: as, to direct a person to his destination; he directed his friend's attention to an improved method.
  • To control the course of; regulate; guide or lead; govern; cause to proceed in a particular manner: as, to direct the steps of a child, or the affairs of a nation.
  • To order; instruct; point out to, as a course of proceeding, with authority; prescribe to.
  • In music, to conduct; lead (a company of vocal or instrumental performers) as conductor or director.
  • To superscribe; write the name and address of the recipient on; address: as, to direct a letter or a package.
  • To aim or point at, as discourse; address.
  • In astrology, to calculate the arc of the equator between the significator and the promoter.
  • To act as a guide; point out a course; exercise power or authority in guiding.
  • In music, to act as director or conductor.
  • In a direct manner; directly; straight: as, he went direct to the point.
  • In mathematics, according to the natural order or correlation: in contradistinction to inverse.
  • n. In musicalnotation, the sign placed at the end of a staff or of a page to indicate to the performer the position of the first note of the next staff or page.

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

  • v. lead, as in the performance of a composition
  • v. be in charge of
  • adj. moving from west to east on the celestial sphere; or--for planets--around the sun in the same direction as the Earth
  • v. give directions to; point somebody into a certain direction
  • v. intend (something) to move towards a certain goal
  • v. specifically design a product, event, or activity for a certain public
  • v. cause to go somewhere
  • adj. having no intervening persons, agents, conditions
  • adj. direct in spatial dimensions; proceeding without deviation or interruption; straight and short
  • v. plan and direct (a complex undertaking)
  • v. put an address on (an envelope)
  • v. guide the actors in (plays and films)
  • v. point or cause to go (blows, weapons, or objects such as photographic equipment) towards
  • v. direct the course; determine the direction of travelling
  • adj. in a straight unbroken line of descent from parent to child
  • v. command with authority
  • adj. straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
  • adj. similar in nature or effect or relation to another quantity
  • adj. (of a current) flowing in one direction only
  • adj. lacking compromising or mitigating elements; exact
  • v. take somebody somewhere
  • adj. being an immediate result or consequence
  • adv. without deviation
  • adj. in precisely the same words used by a writer or speaker


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

Middle English directen, from Latin dīrigere, dīrēct-, to give direction to : dī-, dis-, apart; see dis- + regere, to guide; see reg- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin dīrectus, perfect passive participle of dīrigō ("straighten, direct"), from dis- ("asunder, in pieces, apart, in two") + regō ("make straight, rule").



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