English dictionary

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English adjective: indirect

1. indirect having intervening factors or persons or influences

SamplesReflection from the ceiling provided a soft indirect light.
Indirect evidence.
An indirect cause.



2. indirect not direct in spatial dimension; not leading by a straight line or course to a destination

SamplesSometimes taking an indirect path saves time.
You must take an indirect course in sailing.

Similaraskance, askant, asquint, circuitous, devious, diversionary, meandering, rambling, roundabout, sidelong, squint, squint-eyed, squinty, wandering, winding

See alsocrooked

Attributedirectness, straightness


3. indirect descended from a common ancestor but through different lines

SamplesCousins are collateral relatives.
An indirect descendant of the Stuarts.


See alsorelated

Antonymslineal, direct

4. indirect extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action

SamplesMaking 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.

Similarallusive, ambagious, backhanded, circuitous, circumlocutious, circumlocutory, devious, digressive, discursive, excursive, hearsay, mealy-mouthed, mealymouthed, oblique, periphrastic, rambling, roundabout, tortuous


5. indirect not as a direct effect or consequence

SamplesIndirect benefits.
An indirect advantage.



Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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