from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To manage or regulate the business or affairs of; be in charge of.
  • intransitive verb To supervise or oversee (an activity or process): synonym: conduct.
  • intransitive verb To give guidance and instruction to (actors or musicians, for example) in the rehearsal and performance of a work.
  • intransitive verb To supervise the performance of.
  • intransitive verb To give an order to; command.
  • intransitive verb To show or indicate the way for.
  • intransitive verb To cause to move in a certain direction or toward a certain object; turn or point.
  • intransitive verb To concentrate or focus (one's sight or attention, for example) on a particular object or activity. synonym: aim.
  • intransitive verb To indicate the intended recipient on (a letter, for example).
  • intransitive verb To address or adapt (remarks, for example) to a specific person, audience, or purpose.
  • intransitive verb To give commands or directions.
  • intransitive verb To conduct a performance or rehearsal.
  • adjective Proceeding without interruption in a straight course or line; not deviating or swerving.
  • adjective Straightforward and candid; not devious or ambiguous.
  • adjective Having no intervening persons, conditions, or agencies; immediate.
  • adjective Effected by action of the voters, rather than through elected representatives or delegates.
  • adjective Being of unbroken descent; lineal.
  • adjective Consisting of the exact words of the writer or speaker.
  • adjective Lacking compromising or mitigating elements; absolute.
  • adjective Mathematics Varying in the same manner as another quantity, especially increasing if another quantity increases or decreasing if it decreases.
  • adjective Astronomy Designating west-to-east motion of a planet in the same direction as the sun's apparent annual movement with respect to the stars.
  • adjective Sports Being a direct free kick.
  • adverb Straight; directly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In a direct manner; directly; straight: as, he went direct to the point.
  • 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 mathematics, according to the natural order or correlation: in contradistinction to inverse.
  • 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.
  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Straight; not crooked, oblique, or circuitous; leading by the short or shortest way to a point or end
  • adjective Straightforward; not of crooked ways, or swerving from truth and openness; sincere; outspoken.


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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