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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.
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!
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!
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 or address something to 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. Please direct all questions to our Customer Service department.
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.
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.