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direct

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
  • Next morning Winnie went out to the fence directly after breakfast.
    Natalie Babbitt  --  Tuck Everlasting
  • directly = immediately
  • I drove directly to Nick's apartment.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • directly = immediately
  • When he returned, he was to be brought directly to her.
    Louis Sachar  --  Holes
  • directly = immediately
  • Atticus would flee to his office directly after dinner, where if we sometimes looked in on him, we would find him sitting back in his swivel chair reading.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • directly = immediately
  • She must go directly to IT.
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • directly = immediately
  • 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

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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)
  • It felt good to sit inside the truck, out of the direct rays of the sun.
    Louis Sachar  --  Holes
  • direct = unobstructed (with nothing in between)
  • She looked directly into the official's eyes and spoke calmly as if she were giving simple directions to a servant.
    Pam Munoz Ryan  --  Esperanza Rising
  • directly = straight (exactly where stated; used for emphasis)
  • Hassan held the slingshot pointed directly at Assef's face.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • directly = straight (exactly where stated; used for emphasis)
  • 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
  • Perhaps I cannot strike directly at your son, but the Fates say nothing about what I can do to you.
    Madeline Miller  --  Circe
directly = straight (without anything in between)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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)
  • Strauss again brought up my need to speak and write simply and directly so that people will understand me.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
  • directly = in a straightforward (uncomplicated) manner
  • There's grumbling, but no direct defiance.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • direct = clear, or straightforward
  • It was indirectly due to Cody that Gatsby drank so little.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • indirectly = in a complicated, non-obvious manner
    (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.)
  • Dad whipped us with his belt, but never out of anger, and only if we back-talked or disobeyed a direct order, which was rare.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • direct = clear and specific
  • "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)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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 officers had a spotlight attached to their vehicle, and they directed it at me sitting in my car.
    Bryan Stevenson  --  Just Mercy
  • directed = pointed or aimed
  • Connor's shots had been very precise; they were low, and directed at a corner of the crate.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • directed = aimed
  • Though Iris was held in place by five large bolts, the force was directed entirely to a single one.
    Andy Weir  --  The Martian
  • directed = focused or concentrated
  • Then the voice was directed to Meg.
    Madeleine L'Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • directed = aimed (intended for)
  • Jake Wexler made the emergency telephone call and sent Theo to the lobby to direct the ambulance attendants.
    Ellen Raskin  --  The Westing Game
direct = give directions to

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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
  • 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
  • Grandma led me into the bathroom and watched as I washed my hands, then directed me to dry them on the rose-colored towel.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • directed = instructed
  • On at least two occasions I stopped cases where to my mind the accused was palpably innocent, directing the jury that there was no case.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • directing = instructing
  • "Put your hands on me," he directed, aware that in such anguish The Giver might need reminding.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
  • directed = instructed
  • Then, grabbing the only shovels, he handed one to me, holding on to the other himself, and directed Little Man and Christopher-John to each take two buckets.
    Mildred D. Taylor  --  Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
  • directed = instructed
  • 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

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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
    (editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
  • Will you direct the effort.
  • direct = be in charge of
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • The director of the CIA said Pakistan was "either involved or incompetent."
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • director = person in charge
    (editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
  • The man who let us in introduced himself as Zaman, the director of the orphanage.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  The Kite Runner
  • director = supervisor (person in charge)
    (editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
  • "Lister Munk, Pipeworks director," he said.
    Jeanne DuPrau  --  The City of Ember
  • director = supervisor (person in charge)
    (editor's note:  The suffix "-or" often converts a verb to a noun that means "a person who."  This is the pattern you see in words like actor, editor, and visitor.)
  • 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

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
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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