Definition of direction in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈrɛkʃ(ə)n/
Pronunciation: /dʌɪˈrɛkʃ(ə)n/


1A course along which someone or something moves: she set off in the opposite direction [mass noun]: he had a terrible sense of direction
More example sentences
  • 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 which must be taken in order to reach a destination: the village is over the moors in a northerly direction
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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; a trend or tendency: new directions in painting and architecture any dialogue between them is a step in the right direction
More example sentences
  • 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, disposition;
drift, aim, tack, attitude, tone, tenor, mood, feel, style, flavour, vein;
current, trend
1.4 [mass noun] General aim or purpose: the campaign’s lack of direction
More example sentences
  • 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.
2 [mass noun] The management or guidance of someone or something: under his direction, the college has developed an international reputation
More example sentences
  • 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.
administration, management, supervision, superintendence, government, regulation, orchestration;
control, command, rule;
conduct, handling, running, overseeing, masterminding;
leadership, guidance
2.1The work of directing the actors and other staff in a film, play, or other production.
Example sentences
  • 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 not far from the studio
More example sentences
  • 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, command, order, bidding, charge, injunction, dictate, decree, edict, enjoinment, prescription, rule, regulation, requirement;
guideline, recommendation, suggestion;
(directions) guidance, information, briefing


sense of direction

A person’s ability to know without explicit guidance the direction in which they are or should be moving.
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 (in sense 2): from Latin directio(n-), from the verb dirigere (see direct).

  • address from Middle English:

    This was first used in the senses ‘set upright’ and ‘guide, direct’, which developed into ‘write directions for delivery on’ and ‘direct spoken words to’. The source is Latin ad- ‘towards’ and directus ‘put straight’. Direction (early 16th century) shares the same source.

Words that rhyme with direction

abjection, affection, circumspection, collection, complexion, confection, connection, convection, correction, defection, deflection, dejection, detection, ejection, election, genuflection, imperfection, infection, inflection, injection, inspection, insurrection, interconnection, interjection, intersection, introspection, lection, misdirection, objection, perfection, predilection, projection, protection, refection, reflection, rejection, resurrection, retrospection, section, selection, subjection, transection, vivisection

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dir|ec¦tion

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