direction noun

1 where to/from

ADJ. same They were both going in the same direction. | different, opposite | right, wrong Unfortunately, we were going in the wrong direction. | general I fired in the general direction of the officer's head, and missed. | unexpected Support came from an unexpected direction. | anti-clockwise, clockwise Turn the dial in a clockwise direction. | downward, upward These figures may have to be revised in an upward direction. | northerly, southerly, etc. The current flows in a south-easterly direction. | wind When sailing, keep a constant check on changes in wind direction.

VERB + DIRECTION take Which direction do we have to take? | change, reverse The wind had changed direction. What happens if you reverse the direction of the current? | flow in, go (off) in | head in, move in, travel in The convoy is moving in the direction of the capital. | veer off in While he was studying in Paris, his thinking suddenly veered off in a new direction. | come from/in He was hit by a lorry coming in the opposite direction. | face (in) I didn't see the accident because I was facing in the opposite direction. | glance in, look in, nod in, point in She glanced in his direction. ‘Look!’ she said, pointing in the direction of the coast. | nudge sb in, point sb in (figurative) We have to nudge politicians in the right direction. I can't come with you, but I can point you in the general direction. | pull (sb/sth) in (often figurative) There are different considerations, often pulling in different directions.

PREP. from a/the ~ There was shriek of laughter from the direction of Sarah's room. Let's approach the subject from a different direction. | in a/the ~ The aircraft was flying in a northerly direction.

PHRASES the direction of flow/movement/travel I prefer to be facing the direction of travel. | the direction of sb's gaze She followed the direction of his gaze. | from/in all/both directions The blast sent debris flying in all directions. The road was blocked in both directions. | a glance/nod in sb/sth's direction People passed by without a glance in her direction. (figurative) The report gives a brief nod in the direction of green issues before coming down firmly on the side of the market. | a sense of direction I haven't got much sense of direction.

2 development

ADJ. new The party must take a new direction if it is to survive. | right, wrong | clear No clear direction in policy can be identified. | future the debate about the future direction of socialism | policy

VERB + DIRECTION take It is hard to know which direction the Church will take. | change It's time to change direction and find a new job. | go in, move in At least things are moving in the right direction now.

PHRASES a change of direction This was a major change of direction for Britain's foreign policy. | a step in the (right/wrong) direction The new law is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough. The first step in this direction will be by way of discussion with the unions.

3 purpose

ADJ. clear Do not let the discussion fragment into a desultory conversation with no clear direction.

VERB + DIRECTION be lacking in, lack Once again her life felt lacking in direction.

PHRASES a sense of direction We are looking for somebody with a clear sense of direction.

4 instructions

ADJ. clear, good, precise Isabel's directions are always very precise. | stage Shakespeare's famous stage direction, ‘Exit, pursued by a bear.’

VERB + DIRECTION ask for Let's stop and ask for directions. | give sb Can you give me directions for getting to John's? | get We got directions to the hall from a man in the village. | follow It's ever so easy to cook. You just follow the directions on the packet.

PREP. ~ for Are there any directions for putting up the tent? | ~ to Can you give me directions to the town centre?

5 control/guidance

ADJ. clear In effective classrooms the teacher provided clear direction. | strategic the strategic direction of the company | spiritual The monarch looks to the archbishop for spiritual direction. | government All transport is under government direction.

VERB + DIRECTION give sb, provide (sb with)

PREP. under sb's ~ working under the direction of a senior manager | ~ from The new workers need direction from a supervisor. > Note at DIRECTION