Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

direct - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb [transitive] direct pronunciation in British English /dɪˈrekt/direct pronunciation in British English /daɪˈrekt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participledirecting
past tensedirected
past participledirected
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    to aim something at a particular person or thing
    direct something at/to/towards/into/against etc someone/something:

    The incident directed public attention to pollution in the North Sea.

    All of his energy was directed into his art.

    At the time, all the criticism was directed at her rather than me.

  2. 2
    to control or organize how a person or group of people does something

    The manager’s job is mainly to direct the activities of others.

    With the help of advisers, the President will direct military operations.

  3. 3
    formal to give someone instructions to do something

    Take the pills as directed by your doctor.

    The jury was directed to disregard everything Robinson had said.

    direct (that):

    The judge directed they should be found not guilty.

  4. 4
    theatre, cinema to be in charge of making a film or programme, or getting a play ready for performance, especially by telling the actors and technical staff what to do
  5. 5
    to tell or show someone the way to a place or where to go by giving them instructions or by pointing
    direct someone to something:

    Could you direct me to the bus station?

Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play