Webster's Dictionary, 1913
[ Compar. Direr
; superl. Direst
.] [ Latin dirus
; of uncertain origin.] 1. Ill-boding; portentous; as, dire omens. 2. Evil in great degree; dreadful; dismal; horrible; terrible; lamentable.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans. Milton.
Gorgons and hydras and chimeras dire . Milton.
[ Latin directus
, past participle of dirigere
to direct: confer French direct
. See Dress
, and confer Dirge
.] 1. Straight; not crooked, oblique, or circuitous; leading by the short or shortest way to a point or end; as, a direct line; direct means.
What is direct to, what slides by, the question. Locke. 2. Straightforward; not of crooked ways, or swerving from truth and openness; sincere; outspoken.
Be even and direct with me. Shak. 3. Immediate; express; plain; unambiguous.
He nowhere, that I know, says it in direct words. Locke.
A direct and avowed interference with elections. Hallam. 4. In the line of descent; not collateral; as, a descendant in the direct line. 5. (Astron.) In the direction of the general planetary motion, or from west to east; in the order of the signs; not retrograde; -- said of the motion of a celestial body. Direct action
. (Machinery) See Direct- acting .
-- Direct discourse (Gram.)
, the language of any one quoted without change in its form; as, he said "I can not come;" -- correlative to indirect discourse , in which there is change of form; as, he said that he could not come. They are often called respectively by their Latin names, oratio directa , and oratio obliqua .
-- Direct evidence (Law)
, evidence which is positive or not inferential; -- opposed to circumstantial, or indirect, evidence . -- This distinction, however, is merely formal, since there is no direct evidence that is not circumstantial, or dependent on circumstances for its credibility. Wharton.
-- Direct examination (Law)
, the first examination of a witness in the orderly course, upon the merits. Abbott.
-- Direct fire (Mil.)
, fire, the direction of which is perpendicular to the line of troops or to the parapet aimed at.
-- Direct process (Metal.)
, one which yields metal in working condition by a single process from the ore. Knight.
-- Direct tax
, a tax assessed directly on lands, etc., and polls, distinguished from taxes on merchandise, or customs, and from excise.
Direct transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Directed
; present participle & verbal noun Directing
.] 1. To arrange in a direct or straight line, as against a mark, or towards a goal; to point; to aim; as, to direct an arrow or a piece of ordnance. 2. To point out or show to (any one), as the direct or right course or way; to guide, as by pointing out the way; as, he directed me to the left-hand road.
The Lord direct your into the love of God. 2 Thess. iii. 5.
The next points to which I will direct your attention. Lubbock. 3. To determine the direction or course of; to cause to go on in a particular manner; to order in the way to a certain end; to regulate; to govern; as, to direct the affairs of a nation or the movements of an army.
I will direct their work in truth. Is. lxi. 8. 4. To point out to with authority; to instruct as a superior; to order; as, he directed them to go.
I 'll first direct my men what they shall do. Shak. 5. To put a direction or address upon; to mark with the name and residence of the person to whom anything is sent; to superscribe; as, to direct a letter. Syn.
-- To guide; lead; conduct; dispose; manage; regulate; order; instruct; command.
Direct intransitive verb To give direction; to point out a course; to act as guide.
Wisdom is profitable to direct . Eccl. x. 10.
Direct noun (Mus.) A character, thus [ ...], placed at the end of a staff on the line or space of the first note of the next staff, to apprise the performer of its situation. Moore (Encyc. of Music).
Direct adjective (Political Science) Pertaining to, or effected immediately by, action of the people through their votes instead of through one or more representatives or delegates; as, direct nomination, direct legislation.
Direct current (Electricity) (a) A current flowing in one direction only; -- distinguished from alternating current . When steady and not pulsating a direct current is often called a continuous current . (b) A direct induced current , or momentary current of the same direction as the inducing current, produced by stopping or removing the latter; also, a similar current produced by removal of a magnet.
Direct nomination (Political Science) The nomination or designation of candidates for public office by direct popular vote rather than through the action of a convention or body of elected nominating representatives or delegates. The term is applied both to the nomination of candidates without any nominating convention, and, loosely, to the nomination effected, as in the case of candidates for president or senator of the United States, by the election of nominating representatives pledged or instructed to vote for certain candidates dssignated by popular vote.
Direct primary (Political Science) A primary by which direct nominations of candidates for office are made.
Direct-acting adjective (Machinery) Acting directly, as one part upon another, without the intervention of other working parts. Direct-acting steam engine , one in which motion is transmitted to the crank without the intervention of a beam or lever; -- also called direct-action steam engine . -- Direct-acting steam pump , one in which the steam piston rod is directly connected with the pump rod; -- also called direct-action steam pump .
Direct-coupled adjective Coupled without intermediate connections, as an engine and a dynamo. Direct-coupled antenna (Wireless Teleg.) , an antenna connected electrically with one point of a closed oscillation circuit in syntony with it and earthed.
Directer noun One who directs; a director. Directer plane (Geom.) , the plane to which all right-lined elements in a warped surface are parallel.
[ Latin directio
: confer French direction
.] 1. The act of directing, of aiming, regulating, guiding, or ordering; guidance; management; superintendence; administration; as, the direction o... public affairs or of a bank.
I do commit his youth Shak.
To your direction .
All nature is but art, unknown to thee; Pope. 2. That which is imposed by directing; a guiding or authoritative instruction; prescription; order; command; as, he grave directions to the servants.
ll chance, direction , which thou canst not see.
The princes digged the well . . . by the direction of the law giver. Numb. xxi. 18. 3. The name and residence of a person to whom any thing is sent, written upon the thing sent; superscription; address; as, the direction of a letter. 4. The line or course upon which anything is moving or aimed to move, or in which anything is lying or pointing; aim; line or point of tendency; direct line or course; as, the ship sailed in a southeasterly direction . 5. The body of managers of a corporation or enterprise; board of directors. 6. (Gun.) The pointing of a piece with reference to an imaginary vertical axis; -- distinguished from elevation . The direction is given when the plane of sight passes through the object. Wilhelm. Syn.
-- Administration; guidance; management; superintendence; oversight; government; order; command; guide; clew. Direction
. These words, as here compared, have reference to the exercise of power over the actions of others. Control
is negative, denoting power to restrain; command
is positive, implying a right to enforce obedience; directions
are commands containing instructions how to act. Order
conveys more prominently the idea of authority than the word direction
. A shipmaster has the command
of his vessel; he gives orders
to the seamen as to the mode of sailing it; and exercises a due control
over the passengers.
[ Late Latin directivus
: confer French directif
.] 1. Having power to direct; tending to direct, guide, or govern; showing the way. Hooker.
The precepts directive of our practice in relation to God. Barrow. 2. Able to be directed; manageable.
Swords and bows Shak.
Directive by the limbs.
Directly adverb 1. In a direct manner; in a straight line or course.
"To run directly
Indirectly and directly too Shak. 2. In a straightforward way; without anything intervening; not by secondary, but by direct, means. 3. Without circumlocution or ambiguity; absolutely; in express terms.
Thou hast contrived against the very life
Of the defendant.
No man hath hitherto been so impious as plainly and directly to condemn prayer. Hooker. 4. Exactly; just.
Stand you directly in Antonius' way. Shak. 5. Straightforwardly; honestly.
I have dealt most directly in thy affair. Shak. 6. Manifestly; openly.
Desdemona is directly in love with him. Shak. 7. Straightway; next in order; without delay; immediately.
"Will she go now to bed?' ... Directly
" Shak. 8. Immediately after; as soon as.
Directly he stopped, the coffin was removed. Dickens.
» This use of the word is common in England, especially in colloquial speech, but it can hardly be regarded as a well-sanctioned or desirable use. Directly proportional (Math.)
, proportional in the order of the terms; increasing or decreasing together, and with a constant ratio; -- opposed to inversely proportional . Syn.
-- Immediately; forthwith; straightway; instantly; instantaneously; soon; promptly; openly; expressly. -- Directly
denotes, without any delay or diversion of attention; immediately
implies, without any interposition of other occupation; instantly
implies, without any intervention of time. Hence, "I will do it directly
," means, "I will go straightway
about it." "I will do it immediately
," means, "I will do it as the very next
thing." "I will do it instantly
," allows not a particle of delay. Instantaneously
, like instantly
, marks an interval too small to be appreciable, but commonly relates to physical causes; as, the powder touched by fire instantaneously
Directness noun The quality of being direct; straightness; straightforwardness; immediateness.
Directoire style (Dressmaking) A style of dress prevalent at the time of the French Directory, characterized by great extravagance of design and imitating the Greek and Roman costumes.
[ Confer French directeur
.] 1. One who, or that which, directs; one who regulates, guides, or orders; a manager or superintendent.
In all affairs thou sole director . Swift. 2. One of a body of persons appointed to manage the affairs of a company or corporation; as, the directors of a bank, insurance company, or railroad company.
What made directors cheat in South-Sea year? Pope. 3. (Mech.) A part of a machine or instrument which directs its motion or action. 4. (Surg.) A slender grooved instrument upon which a knife is made to slide when it is wished to limit the extent of motion of the latter, or prevent its injuring the parts beneath.
Directorate noun [ Confer French directorat .] The office of director; also, a body of directors taken jointly.
[ Confer French directorial
.] 1. Having the quality of a director, or authoritative guide; directive. 2. Pertaining to: director or directory; specifically, relating to the Directory of France under the first republic. See Directory , 3.
Whoever goes to the directorial presence under this passport. Burke.
Directorship noun The condition or office of a director; directorate.
Directory adjective [ Latin directorius .] Containing directions; enjoining; instructing; directorial.
; plural Directories 1. A collection or body of directions, rules, or ordinances; esp., a book of directions for the conduct of worship; as, the Directory used by the nonconformists instead of the Prayer Book. 2. A book containing the names and residences of the inhabitants of any place, or of classes of them; an address book; as, a business directory . 3.
[ Confer French directoire
.] A body of directors; board of management; especially, a committee which held executive power in France under the first republic. 4. Direction; guide.
[ R.] Whitlock.
Directress noun A woman who directs. Bp. Hurd.
Latin Directrices 1. A directress.
[ R.] Jer. Taylor. 2. (Geom.) (a) A line along which a point in another line moves, or which in any way governs the motion of the point and determines the position of the curve generated by it; the line along which the generatrix moves in generating a surface. (b) A straight line so situated with respect to a conic section that the distance of any point of the curve from it has a constant ratio to the distance of the same point from the focus.
Direful adjective [ Dire + - ful .] Dire; dreadful; terrible; calamitous; woeful; as, a direful fiend; a direful day. -- Dire"ful*ly , adverb -- Dire"ful*ness , noun
Direly adverb In a dire manner. Drayton.
Dirempt adjective [ Latin diremptus , past participle of dirimere to take apart, separate; di- = dis- + emere to buy, orig., to take.] Divided; separated. [ Obsolete] Stow.
Dirempt transitive verb To separate by force; to tear apart. [ Obsolete] Holinshed.
Diremption noun [ Latin diremptio .] A tearing apart; violent separation. [ Obsolete] Bp. Hall.
Direness noun [ Dire- + - ness .] Terribleness; horror; woefulness. Shak.
Direption noun [ Latin direptio , from diripere to tear asunder, plunder; di- = dis- + rapere to seize and carry off.] The act of plundering, despoiling, or snatching away. [ R.] Speed.
Direptitious adjective Characterized by direption. [ R.] Encyc. Dict.
Direptitiously adverb With plundering violence; by violent injustice. [ R.] Strype.
[ Contraction of Lat. dirige
, direct thou (imperative of dirigere
), the first word of a funeral hymn (Lat. transl. of Psalm v. 8) beginning, " Dirige
, in conspectu tuo vitam meam
." See Direct
, and confer Dirige
.] A piece of music of a mournful character, to accompany funeral rites; a funeral hymn.
The raven croaked, and hollow shrieks of owls Ford.
Sung dirges at her funeral.
Dirgeful adjective Funereal; moaning.
Soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind. Coleridge.
[ Latin See Dirge
.] A service for the dead, in the Roman Catholic Church, being the first antiphon of Matins for the dead, of which Dirige is the first word; a dirge.
Evensongs and placebo and dirige . Wyclif.
Resort, I pray you, unto my sepulture Lamentation of Mary Magdalene.
To sing my dirige with great devotion.
[ Latin dirigens
, present participle of dirigere
. See Direct
] Directing. Baxter.
Dirigent noun (Geom.) The line of motion along which a describent line or surface is carried in the genesis of any plane or solid figure; a directrix. Hutton.
Dirigible adjective Capable of being directed; steerable; as, a dirigible balloon.
[ Latin dirimens
, present participle of dirimere
. See Dirempt
.] (Law) Absolute. Diriment impediment (R. C. Ch.)
, an impediment that nullifies marriage.
Dirk noun [ Ir. duirc .] A kind of dagger or poniard; -- formerly much used by the Scottish Highlander. Dirk knife , a clasp knife having a large, dirklike blade.
Dirk transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Dirked
; present participle & verbal noun Dirking
.] To stab with a dirk. Sir W. Scott.
[ See Dark
[ Obsolete] Chaucer.
Dirk transitive verb To darken. [ Obsolete] Spenser.
Dirkness noun Darkness. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.
Dirl intransitive verb & t.
[ Confer Drill
.] To thrill; to vibrate; to penetrate.
[ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.
[ Middle English drit
; kin to Icelandic drit
to dung, OD. drijten
to dung, Anglo-Saxon gedrītan
.] 1. Any foul of filthy substance, as excrement, mud, dust, etc.; whatever, adhering to anything, renders it foul or unclean; earth; as, a wagonload of dirt .
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt . Is. lvii. 20. 2. Meanness; sordidness.
Honors . . . thrown away upon dirt and infamy. Melmoth. 3. In placer mining, earth, gravel, etc., before washing. Dirt bed (Geom.)
, a layer of clayey earth forming a stratum in a geological formation. Dirt beds are common among the coal measures.
-- Dirt eating
. (a) The use of certain kinds of clay for food, existing among some tribes of Indians; geophagism. Humboldt. (b) (Medicine) Same as Chthonophagia .
-- Dirt pie
, clay or mud molded by children in imitation of pastry. Otway (1684).
-- To eat dirt
, to submit in a meanly humble manner to insults; to eat humble pie.
Dirt transitive verb To make foul of filthy; to dirty. Swift.