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INDIRECT

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does indirect mean? 

INDIRECT (adjective)
  The adjective INDIRECT has 5 senses:

1. having intervening factors or persons or influences
2. not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination
3. descended from a common ancestor but through different lines
4. extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action
5. not as a direct effect or consequence

  Familiarity information: INDIRECT used as an adjective is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


INDIRECT (adjective)


Sense 1indirect [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Having intervening factors or persons or influences

Context examples:

reflection from the ceiling provided a soft indirect light / indirect evidence / an indirect cause

Similar:

mediate (acting through or dependent on an intervening agency)


Sense 2indirect [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination

Context examples:

sometimes taking an indirect path saves time / you must take an indirect course in sailing

Similar:

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.)

Also:

crooked (having or marked by bends or angles; not straight or aligned)

Attribute:

directness; straightness (trueness of course toward a goal)

Antonym:

direct (direct in spatial dimensions; proceeding without deviation or interruption; straight and short)


Sense 3indirect [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Descended from a common ancestor but through different lines

Synonyms:

collateral; indirect

Context examples:

cousins are collateral relatives / an indirect descendant of the Stuarts

Also:

related (connected by kinship, common origin, or marriage)


Sense 4indirect [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action

Context examples:

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

Similar:

tortuous (not straightforward)

mealy-mouthed; mealymouthed (hesitant to state facts or opinions simply and directly as from e.g. timidity or hypocrisy)

hearsay (heard through another rather than directly)

digressive; discursive; excursive; rambling ((of e.g. speech and writing) tending to depart from the main point or cover a wide range of subjects)

devious; oblique (indirect in departing from the accepted or proper way; misleading)

ambagious; circumlocutious; circumlocutory; periphrastic (roundabout and unnecessarily wordy)

circuitous; roundabout (marked by obliqueness or indirection in speech or conduct)

backhanded (roundabout or ambiguous)

allusive (characterized by indirect references)

Antonym:

direct (extended senses; direct in means or manner or behavior or language or action)


Sense 5indirect [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not as a direct effect or consequence

Context examples:

indirect benefits / an indirect advantage

Similar:

secondary (being of second rank or importance or value; not direct or immediate)


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