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used in a sentence
6 meanings
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1  —as in:
depart directly
Definition without delay, or in the quickest manner, or without going somewhere else first
  • I walked directly to work.
directly = without interruption in the straightest or quickest possible manner
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Let me get directly to the point.
  • directly = immediately
  • Can I get a direct flight to Los Angeles.
  • direct = without having to change planes
  • Can I get a flight that goes directly to Los Angeles.
  • directly = without going somewhere else first
  • As I was moving the bone some of the marrow must have escaped into his blood stream and gone directly to his heart and stopped it.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
  • directly = immediately
  • I drove from the station directly to Gatsby's house and my rushing anxiously up the front steps was the first thing that alarmed any one.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • directly = straight (without delay or interruption)
  • I drove directly to Nick's apartment.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • directly = immediately
  • You asked me to come directly to you, Professor, if anyone was wandering around at night, and somebody's been in the library Restricted Section.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • directly = immediately
  • "Oh yes! certainly," cried Fanny, rising in haste, the haste of embarrassment and of wanting to get away—"I will write directly."
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • directly = immediately
  • When he returned, he was to be brought directly to her.
    Louis Sachar  --  Holes
directly = immediately

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
directly above; or buy direct from
Definition straight (exactly where stated); or without involvement of anything in between
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "The road runs directly to Las Vegas." — straight (without varying from a straight line)
  • "It was a direct hit." — exact
  • "The plant is in direct sunlight." — unobstructed (without anything in between)
  • "She wants a direct meeting with him." — personal (without other people in between)
  • "She paid direct attention to what he was reading." — close
  • "a direct gaze" — straight, steady, or focused—not a brief glance taken while generally looking at other things; not a sideways look
  • This flower does best in direct sunlight.
direct = without intervention from anything (in this case, not sun that is partially blocked or reflected)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Buy direct from the manufacturer.
  • direct = without intervention from anyone else (in this case, without another company between the manufacturer and the buyer)
  • She reports directly to the president of the company.
  • directly = without intervention from anyone (In this case, she doesn't report to someone else who reports to the president. She reports to the president personally.)
  • I would like to speak directly to the manager.
  • directly = personally (without other people in between)
  • As they walked back across the grass, she looked directly at him for the first time. It was only a momentary glance, full of contempt and dislike.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • directly = straight (focusing where stated rather than including it as part of a larger focus)
  • DANFORTH: Now, then, Mister, will you speak slowly, and directly to the point, for Mr. Cheever's sake.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • directly = straight (focusing where stated rather than getting off topic)
  • I can't breathe. I can't— He stares me directly in the eyes.
    Stephanie Perkins  --  Anna and the French Kiss
  • directly = straight (focusing where stated rather than including it as part of a larger focus; or a careful look rather than a quick glance)
  • Does it fly direct, or will it have to lay over in Minneapolis?
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • direct = without any stops in between
  • After purifying half a pot of water, I place it in direct sunlight and add several egg-size hot stones to the water.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • direct = without anything in between
  • She said these things to me, when Richard was present. She would not speak directly to him.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Blind Assassin
directly = personally (person-to-person)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
3  —as in:
was direct in my instructions
Definition straightforward (uncomplicated or simple — perhaps also indicating openness and honesty)
  • I left them with direct instructions.
direct = straightforward
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She is easy to work with. She is direct in her communications and expectations.
  • direct = straightforward (clear and unambiguous)
  • Did she say that directly or just imply it.
  • directly = in a straightforward manner (clean and explicit)
  • "I don't have much time, so I'm going to be direct," he says.
    Veronica Roth  --  Insurgent
  • direct = straightforward (specific and to the point)
  •   "When they find me, what are they going to do?"
      The twins answered his question indirectly. "You got to go now, Ralph. For your own good."
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • indirectly = without specifically responding to the question
    (Editor's note:  The prefix "in-" in indirectly means not and reverses the meaning of directly. This is the same pattern you see in words like invisible, incomplete, and insecure.)
  • He is steeped in sorrow, exhausted, and more direct than he ever was.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • direct = straightforward (specific and to the point)
  • No, there were three things, and they did not directly concern us—the Finches—but in a way they did.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • directly = in a straightforward manner (an uncomplicated manner before including secondary effects)
  • I know she has extreme views at times, and she does tend to express herself in a direct manner.
    Margaret Atwood  --  The Blind Assassin
  • direct = straightforward (open and honest even if it makes someone uncomfortable)
  • The italics used on this page indicate that the language from the referenced email is paraphrased, not directly quoted.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • directly = in a straightforward word-for-word manner
  • I'm not sure about Foxface since direct confrontation isn't her style or her forte.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
direct = straightforward (clear and uncomplicated)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
4  —as in:
directed her question to
Definition to indicate direction; or to cause movement or focus in a direction or towards an object
The exact meaning of this sense of direct is subject to its context. For example:
  • "intentionally directed fire at unarmed civilians" — aimed a gun
  • "directed the question to her" — aimed a question
  • "directed her north" — pointed in a particular direction
  • "directed attention to the 3rd paragraph" — focused attention on a particular object
  • "The sound of her voice directed him to the kitchen." — guided or gave directions to someone to help them move to a particular place
  • "She directed him to the airport." — gave directions to send someone to a particular place
  • "She directed the boat north." — steered it
  • "directed the letter to" — send a letter to a particular person by putting a name and address on it
  • The sprinkler head needs to be fixed so it directs water away from the house.
directs = aims
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Please direct your question to the appropriate department by selecting one from this list.
  • direct = aim or send
  • Please don't direct your anger toward me.
  • direct = aim or focus
  • Please direct your attention to the north end zone.
  • direct = aim or focus
  • All the cameras were pointed directly at her.
  • directly = aiming straight
  • The beam of the flashlight was directed away from Stanley's eyes and onto Zero, who was sitting on his knees.
    Louis Sachar  --  Holes
  • directed = pointed or focused
  • His voice was a little hard to hear when it was directed at the carpet.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Selection
  • directed = pointed or aimed
  • Percy directed the girls through one door to their dormitory and the boys through another.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • directed = sent
  • An usher is about to direct us to some seats, but this lady with natural twists gestures toward the front row of the friends' side, right in front of her.
    Angie Thomas  --  The Hate U Give
  • direct = guide or point
  • There would be an announcement like that quite soon, he felt certain, and it would be directed mainly at Lily, though her name, of course, would not be mentioned.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
directed = aimed (intended for)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
5  —as in:
directed the jury to...
Definition give instructions or commands
  • On the SAT test, some questions direct you to look at an underlined or numbered portion of a passage.
direct = instruct
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The judge directed the jury to ignore the question.
  • directed = instructed (gave an instruction or command)
  • She directed them to take their seats.
  • directed = instructed (gave an instruction or command)
  • The sign directed us to turn to the right.
  • directed = gave an instruction
  • I would need to direct her explicitly to bring Nobu to the old theater; they wouldn't come upon us there purely by accident.
    Arthur Golden  --  Memoirs of a Geisha
  • direct = instruct
  • Upon reaching New Bedford, we were directed to the house of Mr. Nathan Johnson,
    Frederick Douglass  --  The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
  • directed = given directions
  • "Put your hands on me," he directed, aware that in such anguish The Giver might need reminding.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
  • directed = instructed
  • This was exactly like Muggle chess except that the figures were alive, which made it a lot like directing troops in battle.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • directing = commanding
  • I went to bed as usual, taking care that the flowers were placed as Dr. Van Helsing directed, and soon fell asleep.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • directed = instructed
  • Before she could say anything, teams of people came to work on us, directing one another so loudly there was no way for us to finish talking.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Selection
directing = instructing

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
6  —as in:
directed the movie
Definition supervise, control, or to be in charge of
  • She directed the move.
directed = supervised the making of
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She directs our organization.
  • directs = is in charge of
  • She is the organization's director.
  • director = someone in charge of an organization or project
  • Will you direct the effort.
  • direct = be in charge of
  • Even Napoleon, who was directing operations from the rear, had the tip of his tail chipped by a pellet.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • directing = supervising
  • I'd come to BYU to study music, so that one day I could direct a church choir.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • direct = supervise (be in charge of)
  • She's named after my favorite director, Sofia Coppola.
    Stephanie Perkins  --  Anna and the French Kiss
  • director = person in charge of making a film
  • Almost the last thing I remember was standing with Daisy and watching the moving-picture director and his Star.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • director = person in charge of making a film
  • We have given you the Assignment of Assistant Director of Recreation.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
  • director = supervisor (person in charge)
  • Far down the fields toward the river there was a wooden tower about ten feet high where the instructor had stood to direct the senior calisthenics.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
direct = supervise (be in charge of)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
Less commonly:
Direct can take on many specialized meanings not included in this dictionary.
As an adjective or adverb, most all senses of direct involve an uninterrupted connection and/or clarity (clear, unambiguous communication) as in:
  • direct action
  • direct descendant
  • direct line (with regard to genealogy)
  • direct deposit
  • direct object
  • direct kick
  • direct cost
  • direct investment
  • direct elections
  • direct current

As a verb, most all of the senses of direct involve giving orders or aiming.
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