Meaning of DIRECTION in English


di ‧ rec ‧ tion S1 W1 /dəˈrekʃ ə n, dɪˈrekʃ ə n, daɪ-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ direction , ↑ directness , ↑ director ; verb : ↑ direct , ↑ redirect ; adverb : ↑ directly ≠ ↑ indirectly ; adjective : ↑ direct ≠ ↑ indirect ]

1 . TOWARDS [countable] the way something or someone moves, faces, or is aimed:

Which direction did they go in?

in the direction of something

The suspects were last seen heading in the direction of Miami.

in sb’s direction

Tony glanced in her direction and their eyes met.

The girls pointed in the opposite direction.

On seeing me, Maurice changed direction and went along the wharf instead.

As shots rang out, the crowd ran screaming in all directions.

from the direction of something

There was a loud scream from the direction of the children’s pool.

in a southerly/easterly etc direction

Continue in a southerly direction until you reach the road.


In everyday English, people usually use which way ...? when asking where something is rather than using the noun direction :

▪ Which direction did they go in? ➔ Which way did they go?

▪ | Which direction is north? ➔ Which way is north?

2 . directions [plural]

a) instructions about how to get from one place to another:

A very helpful woman gave me directions to the police station.

b) instructions about what to do:

Be sure you read the directions before using any piece of equipment.

3 . WAY SOMETHING DEVELOPS [countable] the general way in which someone or something changes or develops:

We are happy with the direction the club is taking.

move/head/go in the right direction

I believe that things are heading in the right direction in South Africa.

new/different/exciting etc direction

The company is hoping to extend its operations in new directions.

4 . CONTROL [uncountable] control, management, or advice

under sb’s direction

Under Thompson’s direction, the college has developed an international reputation.

5 . WHERE FROM OR WHERE TO [countable] where something comes from or where something leads

in a direction

The evidence all points in this direction.

from a direction

Help came from a wholly unexpected direction.

6 . PURPOSE [uncountable] a general purpose or aim:

Her mother felt that Rachel’s life lacked direction.

7 . FILM/PLAY [uncountable] the instructions given to the actors and other people working on a film, play etc

⇨ a step in the right direction at ↑ step 1 (2)

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ verbs

▪ go in a direction

I can give you a lift if you're going in my direction.

▪ move/head in a direction

We followed the other passengers heading in the direction of passport control.

▪ look/glance in a direction

She looked in the direction that Jeremy was pointing.

▪ face (in) a direction

The men were facing the direction from which they expected the attack.

▪ change direction (=start to go in a different direction)

Suddenly the birds changed direction.

■ adjectives

▪ the right/wrong direction

Are you sure this is the right direction for Shipton?

▪ the opposite direction

The car crashed into a truck that was coming in the opposite direction.

▪ a southerly/westerly etc direction

A strong wind was blowing from an easterly direction.

■ phrases

▪ in each/every direction ( also in all directions )

At the top of the tower there are splendid views in every direction.

▪ in both directions

The traffic in both directions on the motorway wasn't moving at all.

▪ in different directions

They said goodbye and walked off in different directions.

▪ in the general direction of something (=approximately where something is)

He pointed in the general direction of the village.

▪ in a clockwise/anticlockwise direction (=like or unlike the movement of the hands of a clock)

All movement on a roundabout is in a clockwise direciton.

▪ a sense of direction (=the ability to judge which way you should be going)

Do you have a good sense of direction?

▪ the direction of movement/travel/flow etc

It was hard work rowing against the direction of flow.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ give somebody directions

Luke's given me directions to his house.

▪ follow directions

You can't get lost if you follow my directions.

▪ ask (somebody) for directions

Let's stop and ask someone for directions.

▪ get directions (=ask someone for directions)

I went into a petrol station to get directions.

■ adjectives

▪ clear/good

His directions were very clear and easy to follow.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.