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di·rec·to·ry | \ də-ˈrek-t(ə-)rē , dī- \

Definition of directory 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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: serving to direct specifically : providing advisory but not compulsory guidance


plural directories

Definition of directory (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a book or collection of directions, rules, or ordinances

b : an alphabetical or classified list (as of names and addresses)

2 : a body of directors

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Examples of directory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to the 1912 directory, their father, A.B. Slimp, and Chester both worked at the Dixie Oil Co. at 400 E. Commerce — all in plausible walking distance within the same wide area southeast of the center city. Paula Allen, High High Frequency Dc Frequency men's Dc men's Dc San Antonio Express-News, "Small world southeast of downtown San Antonio fell to progress," 16 June 2018 There is no official directory, but the statue of Brooks is believed to be only the second statue or bust of an African-American woman in the city. Lolly Bowean, chicagotribune.com, "On Gwendolyn Brooks' birthday, a statue of the powerful poet will be unveiled on the South Side," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'directory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of directory


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for directory


Middle English directorie guide, from Medieval Latin directorium, from neuter of Late Latin directorius directorial, from Latin dirigere

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The first known use of directory was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for directory



English Language Learners Definition of directory

: a book that contains an alphabetical list of names of people, businesses, etc.


di·rec·to·ry | \ də-ˈrek-tə-rē , dī- \
plural directories

Kids Definition of directory

: a book containing an alphabetical list of names, addresses, and telephone numbers

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More from Merriam-Webster on directory

Spanish Central: Translation of directory

Nglish: Translation of directory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of directory for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about directory

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Comments on directory

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to make amends

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