indirect

Something indirect is not hitting the target exactly. Indirect sunlight doesn't shine right on you — it reflects off a window or is muted by a shade.

If direct makes you think of a straight line, then indirect looks like a crooked one — there are turns and stops along the way. People who are sneaky might get what they want through indirect means, like going behind people's backs. If you go to school using side streets and back roads, that's an indirect path. Anything indirect is not taking the quickest or shortest route, but sometimes being indirect gets the job done.

Definitions of indirect
1

adj not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination

“sometimes taking an indirect path saves time”
“you must take an indirect course in sailing”
Synonyms:
askance, askant, asquint, sidelong, squint, squint-eyed, squinty
(used especially of glances) directed to one side with or as if with doubt or suspicion or envy
circuitous, devious, roundabout
deviating from a straight course
diversionary
(of tactics e.g.) likely or designed to confuse or deceive
meandering, rambling, wandering, winding
of a path e.g.
crooked
having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned
Antonyms:
direct
direct in spatial dimensions; proceeding without deviation or interruption; straight and short
door-to-door
(of e.g. journeys or deliveries) direct from point of origin to point of destination
nonstop
(of a journey especially a flight) occurring without stops
point-blank
close enough to go straight to the target
straightforward
pointed directly ahead
undeviating, unswerving
going directly ahead from one point to another without veering or turning aside
through
(of a route or journey etc.) continuing without requiring stops or changes
straight
having no deviations
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adj not as a direct effect or consequence

indirect benefits”
“an indirect advantage”
Synonyms:
secondary
being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate

adj extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action

“making indirect but legitimate inquiries”
“an indirect insult”
“doubtless they had some indirect purpose in mind”
“though his methods are indirect they are not dishonest”
“known as a shady indirect fellow”
Synonyms:
allusive
characterized by indirect references
backhanded
roundabout or ambiguous
circuitous, roundabout
marked by obliqueness or indirection in speech or conduct
ambagious, circumlocutious, circumlocutory, periphrastic
roundabout and unnecessarily wordy
devious, oblique
indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading
digressive, discursive, excursive, rambling
(of e.g. speech and writing) tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects
hearsay
heard through another rather than directly
mealy-mouthed, mealymouthed
hesitant to state facts or opinions simply and directly as from e.g. timidity or hypocrisy
tortuous
not straightforward
Antonyms:
direct
straightforward in means or manner or behavior or language or action
bluff
bluntly direct and outspoken but good-natured
blunt, candid, forthright, frank, free-spoken, outspoken, plainspoken, point-blank, straight-from-the-shoulder
characterized by directness in manner or speech; without subtlety or evasion
brutal
disagreeably direct and precise
flat-footed
without reservation
man-to-man
forthright and honest
no-nonsense
not tolerating irrelevancies
plain, unvarnished
free from any effort to soften to disguise
pointed
direct and obvious in meaning or reference; often unpleasant
square, straight, straightforward
without evasion or compromise
upfront
frank and honest
honest, honorable
not disposed to cheat or defraud; not deceptive or fraudulent
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adj having intervening factors or persons or influences

“reflection from the ceiling provided a soft indirect light”
indirect evidence”
“an indirect cause”
Synonyms:
mediate
acting through or dependent on an intervening agency

adj descended from a common ancestor but through different lines

“an indirect descendant of the Stuarts”
Synonyms:
collateral
related
connected by kinship, common origin, or marriage
Antonyms:
direct, lineal
in a straight unbroken line of descent from parent to child
matrilineal, matrilinear
based on or tracing descent through the female line
patrilineal, patrilinear
based on or tracing descent through the male line
unilateral
tracing descent from either the paternal or the maternal line only
related
connected by kinship, common origin, or marriage
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