Meaning of DIRECTION in English

I. də̇ˈrekshən also dīˈ-, rapid ˈdre- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin direction-, directio, from directus (past past. of dirigere to direct, guide) + -ion-, -io -ion — more at dress


a. : guidance or supervision of action, conduct, or operation

the whole system of life had its culmination in the church; and parson and squire presided over its direction — C.E.Raven

under whose direction this paper was written

the doctrine that government should move forward toward direction of the economy

specifically : chief executive function

he was put in charge and given overall direction of the program

b. : the art and technique of directing a stage play, a motion picture, or a television program consisting of the selection of the effects to be produced, the means to produce these effects, and the management and training of the cast

c. : the art and technique of directing the performance of an orchestra, opera, or concert or of a chorus or other musical group

the musicianly direction … helped illumine the score — Miles Kastendieck

d. : a word or phrase usually in Italian or a sign indicating the appropriate tempo, mood, or intensity of a passage or movement in a musical score

2. archaic : the address placed on the outside of a letter or package to be delivered : superscription

pray send me Grandmamma's direction . I must write to her — W.M.Thackeray


a. : something that is imposed as authoritative instruction or bidding

the senate had been voting according to direction for so long that they seemed to have lost the power of independent decision — Robert Graves

he gave orders all round and men quickly obeyed — relieved at direction — Harris Downey

b. : an explicit instruction : order , command

a report prepared at the direction of the president

— often used in plural

the author's stage directions to actors and cameramen

directions appear on the package

c. : the charge or instruction given on a point of law by a judge to a jury

4. obsolete : administrative capacity


a. : the property of space by which given two positions others may be generated or determined in the same dimension and relation, the aspect of progression being usually implicit

b. : the line or course on which something is moving or is aimed to move or along which something is pointing or facing

the direction of a current is that toward which the water moves, which is the reverse of the way winds are named — G.W.Mixter

follow the direction of the arrow

c. : a line or course extending away from a given point through space and often designated by the point of the compass toward which it extends

from the tower sweeping views in all directions

below the falls the river meanders in a southeasterly direction

d. : the shortest path toward the vicinity or source — used in the expression in the direction of

throwing grenades in the direction of the voices

e. : a position on a line extending through space toward a point of the compass

from what direction will the attack come

protests poured in from all directions

also : a point of view or an angle from which something may be considered

the three authors attack the same subject from three different directions

f. : the angle between a true north-south line passing through the position of the observer and a great circle passing through both this position and a given point on the surface of the earth : bearing

g. : the path of either the longest straight line that can be drawn along a sheet or band of paper or a straight line crossing this at right angles from edge to edge


a. : a channel or direct course of thought or action

the outbreak of war gave another direction to his activities

the directions in which voters can express their will are limited

with business expanding in all directions

b. : a course of progress, development, or evolution showing a distinct tendency or trend

his latest title indicates the direction his historical studies have taken

the existence of the censorship deters men … from essaying new directions in drama — A.B.Walkley

it is because culture molds the specific direction and activities of the personality — Abram Kardiner

also : tenor of a saying or writing

I had felt and written to him in the same general direction — O.W.Holmes †1935

c. : a path or course especially of thought or effort marked by a specific aim or design

the introduction of printing in Italy in 1462 gave a new direction to scholarship — R.A.Hall b. 1911

ideals are not meant to be reached; they merely indicate the direction of movement — Edward Sapir

even those who do not accept the letter of his dogma are in accord with the direction taken by his thought — W.L.Sperry

also : a pointing of thought or effort on a predetermined path or course

his direction toward a life of asceticism and contemplation was already clear — W.P.Clancy

there the boy began to give direction to the instinct for arranging nature that later was translated into a delightful profession — José Gómez-Sicre

a deep uncertainty about goals and obligations pervades all classes and all levels of culture. Our society has lost direction — Walter Moberly

d. : an onward path determined through inclination or guidance pointing toward some attainment

the conspiracy gained momentum and direction — R.C.Doty

slow to make up his mind what his direction as a writer ought to be

stood about idly on the street corners without purpose or direction in their lives — Oscar Handlin

e. : determinative guiding or governing design

cultivate the historical sense and a sense of direction , and read some good books on the history of law; at least, the law has direction — Caroline Slade

7. : the way of advancement, furtherance, or cultivation : aim , purpose , objective — used in the expression in the direction of

gains made in the direction of integration

a significant step in the direction of cooperation between the executive and congress in treaty making — Vera M. Dean

advocate of reforms particularly in the direction of equalizing the legal status of men and women — H.W.H.Knott

8. : an indicated sphere or role in which something may be regarded : a particular respect

a few pencil portraits do exist which show that he had great talent in this direction — Herbert Read

much of the literature (geographical, historical, and economic) on Czechoslovakia is biased in one direction or another — Geographical Journal

9. archaic : directorate 1

10. : a calculation by reference to a horoscope of the times when events will happen

11. in equity practice : the part of a bill containing the address to the court

12. : the lateral pointing of an artillery piece — compare elevation

13. : one of the cardinal points which among some peoples include the zenith, nadir, and center and intermediate points of the compass

II. transitive verb

( directioned ; directioned ; directioning -sh(ə)niŋ ; directions )

: to give a direction to : direct along a line

strangely directioned water — D.L.Morgan

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.