Definition of indirect in English:


Syllabification: in·di·rect
Pronunciation: /ˌindəˈrekt


  • 1Not directly caused by or resulting from something: full employment would have an indirect effect on wage levels
    More example sentences
    • Direct impacts initiate subsequent rounds of income creation, spending and re-spending and result in indirect and induced effects.
    • In this first mechanism, the gene is not strictly required in the embryo sac; the effect is an indirect result of the specialization of the endosperm.
    • What if the heritabilities observed for IQ are a result of indirect effects that can be changed by changing social practice?
    incidental, accidental, unintended, unintentional, secondary, subordinate, ancillary, concomitant
  • 1.1Not done directly; conducted through intermediaries: the nature of the threat can be pieced together only from indirect evidence
    More example sentences
    • There is indirect evidence for the existence of such intermediates.
    • In the absence of neap tide transect data this hypothesis cannot be tested directly, but three pieces of indirect evidence weigh against it as a complete explanation.
    • The crystals in the meteorite are the strongest indirect evidence in history that life did exist on other worlds.
  • 1.2(Of costs) deriving from overhead charges or subsidiary work.
    More example sentences
    • Will this new organization repay all direct costs as well as indirect costs and allocated overhead?
    • The award will not include overhead or indirect costs.
    • You will also have other costs, indirect costs or overheads, these are costs you will still have to pay whether you work for that client or not.
  • 1.3(Of taxation) levied on goods and services rather than income or profits.
    More example sentences
    • He also shifted the tax burden from direct income tax to indirect taxation through the introduction of a goods and service tax.
    • And if you tax consumption with indirect taxation, taxes often pyramid, with resultant price increases of a regressive nature.
    • The paradigm of direct taxation is income tax, the paradigm of indirect taxation is a tax on sales.
  • 2(Of a route) not straight; not following the shortest way.
    More example sentences
    • To have any hope of success, the effort to reduce the country's dependence on subsidies will have to follow indirect routes.
    • And they took a most indirect route to the cemetery, heading out across the Bow flyover.
    • Some businesses said they had experienced a drop in takings when it came to the closure because many customers were not willing to take an indirect route.
  • 2.1(Of lighting) from a concealed source and diffusely reflected.
    More example sentences
    • Shielded lamps and indirect luminaires prevent the lighting installation from aggravating the problems of stress.
    • Use indirect lighting such as an adjustable light source at your desk to find the right amount of glare-free light.
    • The ceiling was at least five meters over their heads, a cool, light-blue dome illuminated by indirect lighting.
  • 2.2 Soccer Denoting a free kick from which a goal may not be scored directly.
    More example sentences
    • Could have been an own-goal or it could have been an indirect free-kick for a back-pass.
    • However, the game was far from over and after Portlaw scored an indirect free kick, Kilmac found themselves under pressure, but held out for victory.
    • It's an indirect free-kick for Sweden on the byline just outside the Bulgaria six-yard box.
  • 3Avoiding direct mention or exposition of a subject: an indirect attack on the Senator
    More example sentences
    • I would be surprised if I went through all the prayers and there was no mention, direct or indirect, of the Ten Commandments or a couple of them.
    • Of the Tories, there was only one direct mention and one indirect reference as the Prime Minister seemed to have bigger things on his mind.
    • Being excitable is not helpful in dealing with a direct or indirect attack and discredits all the good work.



More example sentences
  • The indirectness of the process invites a certain familiarity.
  • With a cultural group in which indirectness is more valued, family members should not be pushed to make demands of others without trying gentle appeals and negotiation first.
  • The indirectness of this approach relates to the pragmatics of the culture: the Navajo avoid speaking for another person or controlling the behavior of others.


late Middle English (in the sense 'not in full grammatical concord'): from medieval Latin indirectus, from in- 'not' + directus (see direct).

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Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody