direct

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direct message

A form of private communication on social media sites or Internet forums. It is most commonly used as a verb. Direct message me if you have any questions. If you don't want everyone to see it, send a direct message instead of posting it.
See also: direct, message

direct (one's) attention to (someone or something)

To focus on someone or something. And if you'll direct your attention to the docent, she'll start you on your tour of the art museum. When the lights in the theater dimmed, we knew to direct our attention to the stage.
See also: attention, direct

direct (something) against (someone or something)

To target someone or something with something negative. I'm not the one who sabotaged your presentation, so don't direct your anger against me!
See also: direct

direct (something) at (someone or something)

To target someone or something with something negative. I'm not the one who sabotaged your presentation, so don't direct your anger at me!
See also: direct

direct (something) to (someone or something)

1. To designate something for someone. You need to direct that budget report to Mary in Finance.
2. To aim something at someone or something. In this usage, "toward" is often used instead of "to." Although I directed the paper airplane to my friends across the room, it didn't reach them.
See also: direct

Dutch uncle

One who addresses someone severely or critically. Fred is always lecturing me like a Dutch uncle, forgetting the fact that I'm 40 years old!
See also: Dutch, uncle

direct someone's attention to someone or something

to focus someone's regard or concern on someone or something; to cause someone to notice someone or something. May I directyour attention to the young man in the purple costume? The announcer directed our attention to the magician who was coming on stage.
See also: attention, direct

direct something against someone or something

to aim a critical remark or a weapon at someone or something. (Very close to direct something at someone or something.) We directed the guns against the occupied village. Ted said he had directed his remark against Judy.
See also: direct

direct something at someone or something

to aim something at someone or something. (Very close to direct something against someone or something.) Are you directing your remarks at me? Please direct the hose at the bushes.
See also: direct

direct something to someone

to address, designate, or send something to someone. Shall I direct the inquiries to you? Please direct all the mail to the secretary when it is delivered.
See also: direct

direct something to(ward) someone or something

to send, throw, push, or aim something at someone or something. Tom directed the ball toward Harry. Should I direct this inquiry to Alice?
See also: direct

Dutch uncle

a man who gives frank and direct advice to someone. (In the way an uncle might, but not a real relative.) I would not have to lecture you like a Dutch uncle if you were not so extravagant. He acts more like a Dutch uncle than a husband. He's forever telling her what to do in public.
See also: Dutch, uncle

Dutch uncle

A stern, candid critic or adviser, as in When I got in trouble with the teacher again, the principal talked to me like a Dutch uncle . This expression, often put as talk to one like a Dutch uncle, presumably alludes to the sternness and sobriety attributed to the Dutch. [Early 1800s]
See also: Dutch, uncle
References in classic literature ?
A Trans-Asiatic Direct liner had found a smooth and butted into it full power.
It does not pay to "fly" minerals and oil a mile farther than is necessary; but the risks of transhipping to submersibles in the ice pack off Nain or Hebron are so great that these heavy freighters fly down to Halifax direct, and scent the air as they go.
Well, but then it came on strangely, if God has made all these things, He guides and governs them all, and all things that concern them; for the Power that could make all things must certainly have power to guide and direct them.
In so opulent a nation as that of Britain, where direct taxes from superior wealth must be much more tolerable, and, from the vigor of the government, much more practicable, than in America, far the greatest part of the national revenue is derived from taxes of the indirect kind, from imposts, and from excises.
This is a prodigious security against a direct contraband with foreign countries; but a circuitous contraband to one State, through the medium of another, would be both easy and safe.
The JUST causes of war, for the most part, arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence.
And the worst of it was, and the root of it all, that it was all in accord with the normal fundamental laws of over-acute consciousness, and with the inertia that was the direct result of those laws, and that consequently one was not only unable to change but could do absolutely nothing.
In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.
In 1794 or '95, a treaty with Great Britain removed the restrictions imposed upon the trade with the colonies, and opened a direct commercial intercourse between Canada and the United States.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.
The holy man, who had often urged the same point before, but had never met with so direct a repulse, walked some little distance behind, with his eyes bent upon the earth, and his lips moving AS IF in prayer.
Proceed again, then; and let us set aside this class of arguments in order to come to direct observations.
Seedlings from the same fruit, and the young of the same litter, sometimes differ considerably from each other, though both the young and the parents, as Muller has remarked, have apparently been exposed to exactly the same conditions of life; and this shows how unimportant the direct effects of the conditions of life are in comparison with the laws of reproduction, and of growth, and of inheritance; for had the action of the conditions been direct, if any of the young had varied, all would probably have varied in the same manner.
Jones then recollecting himself, said, he had a friend near who would direct them; indeed, he wondered at his not following; but, in fact, the good Man of the Hill, when our heroe departed, sat himself down on the brow, where, though he had a gun in his hand, he with great patience and unconcern had attended the issue.
The complication was of this nature: Alexey Alexandrovitch's characteristic quality as a politician, that special individual qualification that every rising functionary possesses, the qualification that with his unflagging ambition, his reserve, his honesty, and with his self-confidence had made his career, was his contempt for red tape, his cutting down of correspondence, his direct contact, wherever possible, with the living fact, and his economy.