Definitions

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

  • adjective Diverging from a direct course; roundabout.
  • adjective Not proceeding straight to the point or object.
  • adjective Not forthright and candid; devious.
  • adjective Not directly planned for; secondary.
  • adjective 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.
  • adjective Logic Involving, relating to, or being the proof of a statement by the demonstration of the impossibility or absurdity of the statement's negation.
  • adjective Sports Being an indirect free kick.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not direct; not straight or rectilinear; deviating from a direct line or course; circuitous.
  • adjective Not tending to an aim, purpose, or result by the plainest course, or by obvious means, but obliquely or consequentially; by remote means.
  • adjective Not straightforward or upright; unfair; dishonest; tending to mislead or deceive.
  • adjective Not resulting directly from an act or cause, but more or less remotely connected with or growing out of it.
  • adjective (Logic & Math.) Not reaching the end aimed at by the most plain and direct method
  • adjective claims for remote or consequential damage. Such claims were presented to and thrown out by the commissioners who arbitrated the damage inflicted on the United States by the Confederate States cruisers built and supplied by Great Britain.
  • adjective a mode of demonstration in which proof is given by showing that any other supposition involves an absurdity (reductio ad absurdum), or an impossibility; thus, one quantity may be proved equal to another by showing that it can be neither greater nor less.
  • adjective (Gram.) See Direct discourse, under Direct.
  • adjective evidence or testimony which is circumstantial or inferential, but without witness; -- opposed to direct evidence.
  • adjective a tax, such as customs, excises, etc., exacted directly from the merchant, but paid indirectly by the consumer in the higher price demanded for the articles of merchandise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From in- +‎ direct

Examples

  • 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

  • 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.

    SuperCooperators

  • 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

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

    CNN Transcript Jun 24, 2005

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

    latimes.com - 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

  • 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

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