English Edit

Etymology Edit

direct +‎ -ly.

Pronunciation Edit

  • enPR: dĭ-rĕk(t)ˈ -lē, dī-rĕk(t)ˈ -lē
  • IPA(key): /dɪˈɹɛk(t)li/, /daɪˈɹɛk(t)li/
  • (file)
  • (file)

Adverb Edit

directly (comparative more directly, superlative most directly)

  1. In a direct manner; in a straight line or course.
    He drove directly to the office, and didn't stop off at the petrol station.
    • 1855, William Wells Brown, Sketches of Places and People Abroad, page 255:
      On arriving at the doors, and entering a long, capacious passage, our eyes became quite dazzled by the gleams of colored light which shone upon them, both directly and reflectedly.
    • 2023 March 8, Gareth Dennis, “The Reshaping of things to come...”, in RAIL, number 978, page 46:
      It is more difficult to directly compare train operations and maintenance, given how fragmented the non-infrastructure segments of the industry are today.
  2. In a straightforward way; without anything intervening; not by secondary but by direct means.
    I'm sick of asking you to fire him; I'll just do it directly.
  3. Plainly, without circumlocution or ambiguity; absolutely; in express terms.
    I'm going to tell Natalie directly that I love her.
    To put it more directly: he's not 'made redundant' but sacked.
    • 2012 April 19, Josh Halliday, “Free speech haven or lawless cesspool – can the internet be civilised?”, in the Guardian:
      "Mujtahidd" has attracted almost 300,000 followers since the end of last year, when he began posting scandalous claims about the Saudi elite. In one tweet, Mujtahidd directly challenged Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Fahd about his political history: "Did you resign or were you forced to resign from your post as head of the diwan [office] of the council of ministers?"
  4. Exactly; just; at the shortest possible distance.
    It's directly across the street.
    • 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, in American Scientist:
      The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, [] . Scribes, illuminators, and scholars held such stones directly over manuscript pages as an aid in seeing what was being written, drawn, or read.
  5. Straightforwardly; honestly.
    He told me directly that he'd cheated on me, and how sorry he was for it.
  6. (dated) Immediately.
  7. (chiefly dated or dialect, including Midlands, Cornwall, Southern US) Soon; next; in due time; as soon as it becomes convenient.
    We'll go to the store directly, but first I need to finish sweeping.

Synonyms Edit

Antonyms Edit

Derived terms Edit

Translations Edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Conjunction Edit


  1. (chiefly British) As soon as; immediately (elliptical for directly that/as/when)
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance (Avignon Quintet), Faber & Faber, published 2004, page 725:
      Tenderly, reluctantly, he took his leave of her, promising that he would contact her directly he got back, perhaps in ten days or so.
    • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate, published 2010, page 463:
      He is to go to Calais, directly this is over, to replace Lord Berners as governor [...].

Anagrams Edit