"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[in-duh-rekt, -dahy-] /ˌɪn dəˈrɛkt, -daɪ-/
not in a direct course or path; deviating from a straight line; roundabout:
an indirect course in sailing.
coming or resulting otherwise than directly or immediately, as effects or consequences:
an indirect advantage.
not direct in action or procedure:
His methods are indirect but not dishonest.
not straightforward; devious; deceitful:
He is known as a shady, indirect fellow.
not direct in bearing, application, force, etc.:
indirect evidence.
of, relating to, or characteristic of indirect discourse:
an indirect quote.
not descending in a direct line of succession, as a title or inheritance.
Origin of indirect
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin indīrēctus. See in-3, direct
Related forms
indirectly, adverb
indirectness, noun
semi-indirect, adjective
semi-indirectly, adverb
semi-indirectness, noun
2. incidental, unintentional, secondary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for indirect
  • Start them over indirect heat, away from the hottest part of the grill.
  • Display in bright, indirect light, and water regularly.
  • These so-called indirect land use impacts have questionable scientific validity.
  • Resources, time, and the emphasis on direct measures and indirect measures rather than quality indicators.
  • Green roof advocates point to other indirect benefits, such as reduced stress on sewer systems.
  • Indoors, display plants away from heater vents in a spot that gets bright, indirect light.
  • He starts by focusing on the concept of indirect action.
  • The effects in war of a loss of prestige are in general indirect and slow.
  • The indirect cost will be harder to measure, but could be more important.
  • Water the wreath well and set it in bright, indirect light for several days.
British Dictionary definitions for indirect


deviating from a direct course or line; roundabout; circuitous
not coming as a direct effect or consequence; secondary: indirect benefits
not straightforward, open, or fair; devious or evasive: an indirect insult
(of a title or an inheritance) not inherited in an unbroken line of succession from father to son
Derived Forms
indirectly, adverb
indirectness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for indirect

late 14c., from Middle French indirect (14c.) or directly from Late Latin indirectus, from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + directus (see direct). Related: Indirectness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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