What does indirect mean?

Definitions for indirect
ˌɪn dəˈrɛkt, -daɪ-in·di·rect

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word indirect.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. indirectadjective

    having intervening factors or persons or influences

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

  2. indirectadjective

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

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

  3. collateral, indirectadjective

    descended from a common ancestor but through different lines

    "cousins are collateral relatives"; "an indirect descendant of the Stuarts"

  4. indirectadjective

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

    "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"

  5. indirectadjective

    not as a direct effect or consequence

    "indirect benefits"; "an indirect advantage"


  1. indirectadjective

    Not direct; roundabout; deceiving; setting a trap; confusing.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Indirectadjective

    Etymology: indirect, Fr. indirectus, Latin.

    The tender prince
    Would fain have come with me to meet your grace;
    But by his mother was perforce with-held.
    —— Fy, what an indirect and peevish course
    Is this of her's? William Shakespeare, Richard III.

    Think you, that any means under the sun
    Can assecure so indirect a course? Samuel Daniel, Civil War.

    Those things which they do know they may, upon sundry indirect considerations, let pass; and although themselves do not err, yet may they deceive others. Richard Hooker.

    O pity and shame! that they who to live well
    Enter'd so fair, should turn aside, to tread
    Paths indirect. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. xi.

    Indirect dealing will be discovered one time or other, and then he loses his reputation. John Tillotson.


  1. indirect

    Indirect refers to something that is not directly achieved, addressed, or experienced. It is described as being secondary, circumstantial, not straightforward, or involving intermediate stages or factors. It can pertain to various contexts such as communication, path or route, relationship, or impact, among others.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Indirectadjective

    not direct; not straight or rectilinear; deviating from a direct line or course; circuitous; as, an indirect road

  2. Indirectadjective

    not tending to an aim, purpose, or result by the plainest course, or by obvious means, but obliquely or consequentially; by remote means; as, an indirect accusation, attack, answer, or proposal

  3. Indirectadjective

    not straightforward or upright; unfair; dishonest; tending to mislead or deceive

  4. Indirectadjective

    not resulting directly from an act or cause, but more or less remotely connected with or growing out of it; as, indirect results, damages, or claims

  5. Indirectadjective

    not reaching the end aimed at by the most plain and direct method; as, an indirect proof, demonstration, etc

  6. Etymology: [Pref. in- not + direct: cf. F. indirect.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Indirect

    in-di-rekt′, adj. not direct or straight: not lineal or in direct succession: not related in the natural way, oblique: not straightforward or honest.—adv. Indirect′ly.—ns. Indirect′ness, Indirec′tion (Shak.), indirect course or means, dishonest practice.—Indirect evidence, or testimony, circumstantial or inferential evidence; Indirect object (gram.), a substantive word dependent on a verb less immediately than an accusative governed by it; Indirect syllogism (logic), a syllogism which can be made more cogent and useful by the process called reduction.


  1. Indirect

    applied to metamorphosis = complete.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'indirect' in Adjectives Frequency: #738

Anagrams for indirect »

  1. indicter

  2. reindict

How to pronounce indirect?

How to say indirect in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of indirect in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of indirect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of indirect in a Sentence

  1. Stephen Monroe:

    It's very unlikely that they would be able to spread the disease to fellow passengers, the Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with the blood, secretions, or other body fluids of ill people, and indirect contact -- for example with needles and other things that may be contaminated with these fluids.

  2. Kyriakos Mitsotakis:

    It is an immediate act of protection and, of course, an indirect urge to be vaccinated.

  3. Lindred Greer:

    Similar to any form of aggressive behavior, direct or indirect, it is contagious and can sink performance.

  4. James Scott:

    The most successful attacks by more sophisticated hackers tend to be strategically “indirect”. Why risk attacking Target directly and getting caught. Just hack the HVAC contractor and use their access to Target’s network

  5. Rebecca Laws:

    It is undeniable that there will be numerous direct and indirect health effects as a result of climate change, rebecca Laws could be witnessing one such direct health effect, as epidemics of( chronic kidney disease) become more apparent in hot and humid regions throughout the world.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for indirect

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"indirect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/indirect>.

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    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    A abide
    B render
    C cleave
    D elate

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