Definition of directive in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈrɛktɪv/


An official or authoritative instruction: a new EC directive
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  • If Community action is required, the Commission will proceed through directives rather than regulations.
  • State authorities have ignored court directives demanding certain prisoners be produced.
  • Everything is illegal unless approved by the government, thus the reason for such idiotic regulations and directives.


Involving the management or guidance of operations: the authority is seeking a directive role in energy policy
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  • But the system only worked because the United States was prepared to play a leading and directive role.
  • Are these rights in the South African Constitution viewed in effect by the Court as directive principles?
  • The Bank of Montreal was not prepared to do so and the terms of the order were not very directive towards the Bank.


Late Middle English (as an adjective): from medieval Latin directivus, from direct- 'guided, put straight', from the verb dirigere (see direct).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dir¦ect|ive

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