Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French directer, from Latin directus straight, from past participle of dirigere to direct — more at dress
Date: 14th century
a. obsolete to write (a letter) to a person
b. to mark with the name and address of the intended recipient
c. to impart orally
d. to adapt in expression so as to have particular applicability <a lawyer who directs his appeals to intelligence> 2. a. to regulate the activities or course of b. to carry out the organizing, energizing, and supervising of <direct a project> c. to dominate and determine the course of d. to train and lead performances of <direct a movie> 3. to cause to turn, move, or point undeviatingly or to follow a straight course <X rays are directed through the body> 4. to point, extend, or project in a specified line or course <direct the nozzle downward> 5. to request or enjoin with authority <the judge directed the jury to acquit the defendant> 6. to show or point out the way for <signs directing us to the entrance> intransitive verb 1. to point out, prescribe, or determine a course or procedure 2. to act as director Synonyms: see command, conduct II. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Latin directus Date: 15th century 1. having or being motion in the general planetary direction from west to east ; not retrograde 2. a. stemming immediately from a source <direct result> b. being or passing in a straight line of descent from parent to offspring ; lineal <direct ancestor> c. having no compromising or impairing element <a direct insult> 3. a. proceeding from one point to another in time or space without deviation or interruption ; straight <a direct line> b. proceeding by the shortest way <the direct route> 4. natural, straightforward <a direct manner> 5. a. marked by absence of an intervening agency, instrumentality, or influence <making direct observations of nature> b. effected by the action of the people or the electorate and not by representatives <direct democracy> c. consisting of or reproducing the exact words of a speaker or writer <a direct quotation> 6. characterized by close logical, causal, or consequential relationship <direct evidence> 7. capable of dyeing without the aid of a mordant III. adverb Date: 14th century in a direct way: as a. from point to point without deviation ; by the shortest way <flew direct to Miami> b. from the source without interruption or diversion <the writer must take his material direct from life — Douglas Stewart> c. without an intervening agency or step <buy direct from the manufacturer>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.