direction

When you put something together, it's usually best to follow each direction — that is, each step in the instructions for how to do it — so that you put it together correctly. Or, you could just start putting it together, only to discover that you have extra pieces.

The noun direction has several meanings. It can be an order given, as in, "Here are your directions: pick up your toys and make the bed!" Direction can also be something that points out a route as when you ask for directions to the lake. The course leading to a certain point is also a direction so you need to go in a southerly direction for ten miles, and then turn left at the giant chicken sign.

Definitions of direction
1

n a line leading to a place or point

“he looked the other direction
Synonyms:
way
Types:
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aim, bearing, heading
the direction or path along which something moves or along which it lies
course, trend
general line of orientation
east-west direction
in a direction parallel with lines of latitude
north-south direction
in a direction parallel with lines of longitude
qibla
the direction of the Kaaba toward which Muslims turn for their daily prayers
tendency, trend
a general direction in which something tends to move
tack
the heading or position of a vessel relative to the trim of its sails
Type of:
itinerary, path, route
an established line of travel or access

n the spatial relation between something and the course along which it points or moves

“he checked the direction and velocity of the wind”
Types:
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frontage
the direction in which something (such as a building) faces
orientation
position or alignment relative to points of the compass or other specific directions
opposition
a direction opposite to another
windward
the direction from which the wind is coming
leeward
the direction in which the wind is blowing
seaward
the direction toward the sea
compass point, point
any of 32 horizontal directions indicated on the card of a compass
compass north, magnetic north, north
the direction in which a compass needle points
north
the direction corresponding to the northward cardinal compass point
northeast
the direction corresponding to the northeastward compass point
east
the direction corresponding to the eastward cardinal compass point
southeast
the direction corresponding to the southeastward compass point
south
the direction corresponding to the southward cardinal compass point
southwest
the direction corresponding to the southwestward compass point
west
the direction corresponding to the westward cardinal compass point
northwest
the direction corresponding to the northwestward compass point
attitude
position of aircraft or spacecraft relative to a frame of reference (the horizon or direction of motion)
horizontal
something that is oriented horizontally
vertical
something that is oriented vertically
orthogonal opposition, orthogonality, perpendicularity
the relation of opposition between things at right angles
antipodal, antipodal opposition, diametrical opposition
the relation of opposition along a diameter
enantiomorphism, mirror-image relation
the relation of opposition between crystals or molecules that are reflections of one another
to windward, weather side, weatherboard, windward side
the side toward the wind
leeward side, to leeward
the side sheltered from the wind
quarter
one of the four major division of the compass
cardinal compass point
one of the four main compass points
NbE, north by east
the compass point that is one point east (clockwise) of due north
NNE, nor'-nor'-east, north northeast
the compass point that is midway between north and northeast
NEbN, northeast by north
the compass point that is one point north of northeast
NE, nor'-east, northeast, northeastward
the compass point midway between north and east; at 45 degrees
NEbE, northeast by east
the compass point that is one point east of northeast
ENE, east northeast
the compass point midway between northeast and east
EbN, east by north
the compass point that is one point north of due east
EbS, east by south
the compass point that is one point south of due east
ESE, east southeast
the compass point midway between east and southeast
SEbE, southeast by east
the compass point that is one point east of southeast
SE, sou'-east, southeast, southeastward
the compass point midway between south and east; at 135 degrees
SEbS, southeast by south
the compass point that is one point south of southeast
SSE, sou'-sou'-east, south southeast
the compass point midway between south and southeast
SbE, south by east
the compass point that is one point east of due south
SbW, south by west
the compass point that is one point west of due south
SSW, sou'-sou'-west, south southwest
the compass point midway between south and southwest
SWbS, southwest by south
the compass point that is one point south of southwest
SW, sou'-west, southwest, southwestward
the compass point midway between south and west; at 225 degrees
SWbW, southwest by west
the compass point that is one point west of southwest
WSW, west southwest
the compass point midway between west and southwest
WbS, west by south
the compass point that is one point south of due west
WbN, west by north
the compass point that is one point north of due west
WNW, west northwest
the compass point midway between west and northwest
NWbW, northwest by west
the compass point that is one point west of northwest
NW, nor'-west, northwest, northwestward
the compass point midway between north and west; at 315 degrees
NWbN, northwest by north
the compass point that is one point north of northwest
NNW, nor'-nor'-west, north northwest
the compass point that is midway between north and northwest
NbW, north by west
the compass point that is one point west of due north
Type of:
position, spatial relation
the spatial property of a place where or way in which something is situated

n a general course along which something has a tendency to develop

“I couldn't follow the direction of his thoughts”
“his ideals determined the direction of his career”
“they proposed a new direction for the firm”
Types:
tenor
a settled or prevailing or habitual course of a person's life
Type of:
disposition, inclination, tendency
an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others

n a formal statement of a command or injunction to do something

Synonyms:
charge, commission
Types:
misdirection
an incorrect charge to a jury given by a judge
Type of:
bid, bidding, command, dictation
an authoritative direction or instruction to do something

n something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action

Synonyms:
counsel, counseling, counselling, guidance
Types:
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guideline, road map
a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action
career counseling
counseling on career opportunities
cynosure
something that provides guidance (as Polaris guides mariners)
genetic counseling
guidance for prospective parents on the likelihood of genetic disorders in their future children
marriage counseling
counseling on marital problems and disagreements
confidential information, hint, lead, steer, tip, wind
an indication of potential opportunity
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

n a message describing how something is to be done

“he gave directions faster than she could follow them”
Synonyms:
instruction
Examples:
Robert's Rules of Order
a book of rules for presiding over a meeting; written by Henry M. Martin in 1876 and subsequently updated through many editions
Types:
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rule
any one of a systematic body of regulations defining the way of life of members of a religious order
prescript, rule
prescribed guide for conduct or action
rubric
directions for the conduct of Christian church services (often printed in red in a prayer book)
misdirection
incorrect directions or instructions
address, destination, name and address
written directions for finding some location; written on letters or packages that are to be delivered to that location
markup
detailed stylistic instructions for typesetting something that is to be printed; manual markup is usually written on the copy (e.g. underlining words that are to be set in italics)
prescription
directions prescribed beforehand; the action of prescribing authoritative rules or directions
formula, recipe
directions for making something
rule
directions that define the way a game or sport is to be conducted
stage direction
an instruction written as part of the script of a play
style
editorial directions to be followed in spelling and punctuation and capitalization and typographical display
system command
a computer user's instruction (not part of a program) that calls for action by the computer's executive program
bylaw
a rule adopted by an organization in order to regulate its own affairs and the behavior of its members
rubric
an authoritative rule of conduct or procedure
order, parliamentary law, parliamentary procedure, rules of order
a body of rules followed by an assembly
rule of evidence
(law) a rule of law whereby any alleged matter of fact that is submitted for investigation at a judicial trial is established or disproved
Miranda rule
the rule that police (when interrogating you after an arrest) are obliged to warn you that anything you say may be used as evidence and to read you your constitutional rights (the right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent until advised by a lawyer)
precept, principle
rule of personal conduct
golden rule
any important rule
GIGO
(computer science) a rule stating that the quality of the output is a function of the quality of the input; put garbage in and you get garbage out
dictate
an authoritative rule
ordinance, regulation
an authoritative rule
canon
a rule or especially body of rules or principles generally established as valid and fundamental in a field or art or philosophy
etiquette
rules governing socially acceptable behavior
communications protocol, protocol
(computer science) rules determining the format and transmission of data
return address
the address of the sender of a letter or parcel indicating where it should be returned if it cannot be delivered
ground rule
(baseball) a special rule (as in baseball) dealing with situations that arise due to the nature of the playing grounds
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

n the act of setting and holding a course

“a new council was installed under the direction of the king”
Synonyms:
guidance, steering
Types:
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driving
the act of controlling and steering the movement of a vehicle or animal
aim
the action of directing something at an object
navigation, pilotage, piloting
the guidance of ships or airplanes from place to place
celestial guidance
a method of controlling the flight of a missile or spacecraft by reference to the positions of celestial bodies
inertial guidance, inertial navigation
a method of controlling the flight of a missile by devices that respond to inertial forces
command guidance
a method of controlling the flight of a missile by commands originating from the ground or from another missile
terrestrial guidance
a method of controlling the flight of a missile by devices that respond to the strength and direction of the earth's gravitational field
motoring
the act of driving an automobile
instrument flying
navigation of an airplane solely by instruments
astronavigation, celestial navigation
navigating according to the positions of the stars
dead reckoning
navigation without the aid of celestial observations
Type of:
control
the activity of managing or exerting control over something

n the concentration of attention or energy on something

“he had no direction in his life”
Synonyms:
centering, focal point, focus, focusing, focussing
Types:
particularism
a focus on something particular
Type of:
absorption, concentration, engrossment, immersion
complete attention; intense mental effort

n the act of managing something

“is the direction of the economy a function of government?”
Synonyms:
management
Types:
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conducting
the direction of an orchestra or choir
database management
creation and maintenance of a database
finance
the management of money and credit and banking and investments
homemaking
the management of a household
misconduct
bad or dishonest management by persons supposed to act on another's behalf
misdirection, mismanagement
management that is careless or inefficient
handling, treatment
the management of someone or something
oversight, superintendence, supervising, supervision
management by overseeing the performance or operation of a person or group
administration, disposal
a method of tending to or managing the affairs of a some group of people (especially the group's business affairs)
authorisation, authorization, empowerment
the act of conferring legality or sanction or formal warrant
disenfranchisement
the act of withdrawing certification or terminating a franchise
canalisation, canalization, channelisation, channelization
management through specified channels of communication
guidance, steering
the act of guiding or showing the way
banking
engaging in the business of keeping money for savings and checking accounts or for exchange or for issuing loans and credit etc.
screwup
the complete mismanagement or mishandling of a situation
bioremediation
the act of treating waste or pollutants by the use of microorganisms (as bacteria) that can break down the undesirable substances
dealing
method or manner of conduct in relation to others
invigilation
keeping watch over examination candidates to prevent cheating
conducting
the way of administering a business
line management
administration of the activities contributing directly to an organization's output
organisation, organization
the act of organizing a business or an activity related to a business
running
the act of administering or being in charge of something
polity
shrewd or crafty management of public affairs
sanction
the act of final authorization
licence, license, permission, permit
the act of giving a formal (usually written) authorization
certification, enfranchisement
the act of certifying or bestowing a franchise on
commission, commissioning
the act of granting authority to undertake certain functions
delegating, delegation, deputation, relegating, relegation
authorizing subordinates to make certain decisions
loan approval
formal authorization to get a loan (usually from a bank)
rubber stamp
routine authorization of an action without questions
Type of:
social control
control exerted (actively or passively) by group action

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