Meaning of DIRECT in English

I. di ‧ rect 1 S2 W1 /dəˈrekt, dɪˈrekt, ˌdaɪˈrekt◂/ BrE AmE adjective

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

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: directus , past participle of dirigere 'to set straight, guide' ]

1 . WITHOUT INVOLVING OTHERS done without any other people, actions, processes etc coming between OPP indirect :

Experienced users have direct access to the main data files.

I’m not in direct contact with them.

Few policy-makers have had direct experience of business.

direct effect/impact/influence etc

Educational level has a sizeable direct effect on income.

direct link/connection/relationship etc

There is a direct link between poverty and ill-health.

direct result/consequence

The decision to close the hospital is a direct result of Government health policy.

2 . FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER going straight from one place to another without stopping or changing direction OPP indirect :

Which is the most direct route to London?

a direct flight to New York

3 . EXACT [only before noun] exact or total:

Weight increases in direct proportion to mass.

For Lawrence, in direct contrast to Adam, everything seemed to come so easily.

a direct quote (=exact words) from the book

4 . BEHAVIOUR/ATTITUDE saying exactly what you mean in an honest clear way OPP indirect :

Women often feel men are too direct and not sympathetic enough.

Now, let me ask you a direct question, and I expect a direct answer.

5 . direct descendant someone who is related to someone else through their parents and grandparents, not through their ↑ aunt s , ↑ uncle s etc

direct descendant of

She claimed to be a direct descendant of Wordsworth.

6 . direct hit an occasion on which something such as a bomb hits a place exactly, causing a lot of damage:

During the war, the cathedral suffered many direct hits.

One of the bombers scored a direct hit.

7 . direct heat/sunlight strong heat or light that someone or something is not protected from OPP indirect :

Never change the film in direct sunlight.

⇨ ↑ directly , ↑ directness

• • •


■ nouns

▪ direct access

Very few people have direct access to the President.

▪ direct contact

The disease is only spread by direct contact between people.

▪ a direct link/connection

The campaign makes a direct link between global warming and the consumption of energy in the home.

▪ a direct relationship

We think having a direct relationship with customers is very important.

▪ a direct effect/impact

Our organization’s work has a direct impact upon children’s lives in this country.

▪ a direct result/consequence

Many illnesses here are a direct consequence of bad diet.

▪ direct experience

People learn best through direct experience.

▪ direct evidence

There is no direct evidence that this causes any harm.

▪ direct control

The state has direct control over certain industries.

• • •


■ not hiding the truth or the facts

▪ honest saying what you really think and not hiding the truth or the facts:

I’m going to ask you something, and I want you to be honest with me.


an honest answer


To be honest, I didn’t think his speech was very good.

▪ straight informal honest and saying what you really think:

I can’t help you if you’re not straight with me.


I need a straight answer.

▪ open willing to talk about what you think, feel etc in an honest way, rather than trying to hide it:

People have become more open about their feelings.


She’s very easy to talk to because she’s so open.

▪ frank speaking honestly and directly about something, especially something that people find difficult to discuss:

In his book, he’s brutally frank about his experience with his illness.


a frank discussion about sex

▪ direct saying exactly what you think in an honest clear way, even when this might annoy or upset people:

Not everyone liked his direct manner.


She can be very direct.

▪ blunt speaking in a completely honest way, even if it upsets people, when it would be better to be more careful or polite:

Sorry if I was a bit blunt with you.


His hard tone and blunt words were hurtful.


She didn’t reply and I knew I had been too blunt.

▪ upfront [not before noun] informal talking and behaving in an honest way, even when it is difficult to do this, in a way that people respect:

It’s best to be upfront about your financial problems.


You have to be upfront with kids.

▪ outspoken expressing your opinions publicly in a very direct way, which may offend or annoy some people:

an outspoken critic of the government


He was known for his outspoken views on various controversies.

▪ forthright formal saying exactly what what you think, without being afraid of what other people will think:

The opposition have not come up with a clear forthright statement of their policies.


At times, Helena was a little too forthright.

▪ candid formal honest about the facts, or about your opinions and feelings, even if other people disapprove of them:

He’d always been completely candid about his past.


It was an unusually candid admission for a politician.

II. direct 2 S3 W2 BrE AmE verb

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

1 . AIM [transitive always + adverb/preposition] to aim something in a particular direction or at a particular person, group etc

direct something at/towards etc something

The machine directs an X-ray beam at the patient’s body.

The new route directs lorries away from the town centre.

I’d like to direct your attention to paragraph four.

I want to direct my efforts more towards my own projects.

2 . BE IN CHARGE [transitive] to be in charge of something or control it:

Mr Turner was directing the investigation from a very early stage.

The choir was directed by Sir David Willcocks.

3 . FILM/PLAY [intransitive and transitive] to give the actors in a play, film, or television programme instructions about what they should do:

The play was directed by Frank Hauser.

4 . WAY/ROUTE [transitive] formal to tell someone how to get to a place

direct somebody to something

Could you direct me to Trafalgar Square, please?

5 . TELL SOMEBODY TO DO SOMETHING [transitive] formal to tell someone what they should do SYN order

direct somebody to do something

The judge directed the jury to find Mr Baggs not guilty.

direct that

He directed that his body should be buried in Upton.

III. direct 3 BrE AmE adverb

1 . without stopping or changing direction SYN directly :

Can we fly direct to Chicago, or do we stop in Salt Lake City first?

2 . without dealing with anyone else first SYN directly :

Esther decided to contact the manager direct.

It is usually cheaper to buy the goods direct from the wholesaler.

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