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. noun
    a line leading to a place or point
    “he looked the other direction
    synonyms: way
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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
  2. noun
    the spatial relation between something and the course along which it points or moves
    “he checked the direction and velocity of the wind”
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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
  3. noun
    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”
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    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
  4. noun
    a formal statement of a command or injunction to do something
    synonyms: charge, commission, mandate
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    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
  5. noun
    something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action
    synonyms: counsel, counseling, counselling, guidance
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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
  6. noun
    a message describing how something is to be done
    “he gave directions faster than she could follow them”
    synonyms: instruction
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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
  7. noun
    the act of setting and holding a course
    “a new council was installed under the direction of the king”
    synonyms: guidance, steering
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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
  8. noun
    the concentration of attention or energy on something
    “he had no direction in his life”
    synonyms: centering, focal point, focus, focusing, focussing
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    particularism
    a focus on something particular
    type of:
    absorption, concentration, engrossment, immersion
    complete attention; intense mental effort
  9. noun
    the act of managing something
    “is the direction of the economy a function of government?”
    synonyms: management
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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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