Definition of direction in English:


Syllabification: di·rec·tion
Pronunciation: /diˈrekSHən, dī-


  • 1A course along which someone or something moves: she set off in the opposite direction the storm was expected to take a more northwesterly direction
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    • The route heads in a north-westerly direction running a corridor along the western side of the Oakpark halting site.
    • From there the route heads in a north-westerly direction running along the western side of the Oakpark halting site.
    • Should traffic travel in the opposite direction along certain roads?
  • 1.1The course that must be taken in order to reach a destination: he had a terrible sense of direction
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    • Letter writers, like Julia Baird, travel in many different directions to reach their destinations
    • When she reached the directions ' destination, she was shocked.
    • But it is I myself who must get there, even though I have the directions and destination down.
    way, route, course, line, run, bearing, orientation
  • 1.2A point to or from which a person or thing moves or faces: a house with views in all directions figurative support came from an unexpected direction
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    • Like the other farmsteads hereabouts, it is protected on three sides by trees and is only open to the views in a direction a little east of south.
    • Turning your legs and feet while keeping your torso facing a different direction is a hard thing to learn.
    • A cold front slowly moved through central Florida today changing the wind direction somewhat from west to west northwest.
  • 1.3A general way in which someone or something is developing: new directions in painting and architecture any dialogue between them is a step in the right direction it is time to change direction and find a new job
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    • Some trends may be apparent but other changes may occur which may contradict the general direction of the trend.
    • The trend indicates the general tendency or direction over the long-term.
    • A seemingly prolibertarian procedural rule may thus lead the law to develop in antilibertarian substantive directions.
    orientation, inclination, leaning, tendency, bent, bias, preference; drift, tack, attitude, tone, tenor, mood, current, trend
  • 1.4General aim or purpose: the campaign’s lack of direction
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    • Such lack of purpose and direction is not in the national interest.
    • The US forces might lack purpose or direction but there are plenty of both to the insurgents' attacks.
    • Leadership, he said, influences people by providing purpose, direction and motivation.
  • 2The management or guidance of someone or something: under his direction, the college has developed an international reputation
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    • This tradition stretches back many years and probably started under the guidance and direction of the late Dermot Burke.
    • Because there's been no direction, no guidance, they've gone into crime.
    • He was the complainant's father, one whom she loved and respected and one whom she looked to for direction and guidance.
  • 2.1The work of supervising and controlling the actors and other staff in a movie, play, or other production.
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    • However, the actors and direction are very impressive, and there's some snappy, witty dialogue.
    • His pace is quirky and his direction of the actors inventive.
    • What he does bring to his direction is an actor's flair for bringing out the best in his cast.
  • 2.2 (directions) Instructions on how to reach a destination or about how to do something: Preston gave him directions to a restaurant directions for making puff pastry
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    • The manufacturer's directions were followed while performing the test.
    • Read the entire label before use and carefully follow the labeled directions for use.
    • Give one direction at a time during the procedure to help your child if needed.
    instruction, order, command, prescription, rule, regulation, requirement
  • 2.3An authoritative order or command: to suggest that members of Congress would take direction on how to vote is an affront
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    • Having regard to the views of this Court in Cowan, we consider that it is desirable that a direction along the lines indicated above should be given.
    • Mr Owens must also follow the directions of the probation officer on what course is deemed necessary.
    • The Secretary of State has issued directions under section 32.


sense of direction

A person’s ability to know without explicit guidance the direction in which they are or should be moving.
More example sentences
  • In fact maps would be of little use to someone who lacked altogether a sense of direction; we need a sense of direction even to find our way around the map and then to orient the map to our immediate environment.
  • She said: ‘I felt it lacked a sense of direction and focus.’
  • There were thousands and thousands of people out in Liverpool and as we staggered around early Sunday morning at 3am looking for a taxi, I was cursing this fact almost as much as Dean and Jon's lack of a sense of direction.


late Middle English (sense 2): from Latin directio(n-), from the verb dirigere (see direct).

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