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. adjective
    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
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    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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  2. adjective
    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
  3. adjective
    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
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    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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  4. adjective
    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
  5. adjective
    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
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    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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