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 (ĭn′dĭ-rĕk′shən, -dī-)
1. The quality or state of being indirect.
a. Lack of straightforwardness; deviousness: obtained their goal by subtle indirection.
b. A devious act or statement: wouldn't give us a straight answer, only hints and indirections.
3. Lack of direction; aimlessness.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. indirect procedure, courses, or methods
2. lack of direction or purpose; aimlessness
3. indirect dealing; deceit
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɪn dəˈrɛk ʃən, -daɪ-)

1. indirect action or procedure.
2. a roundabout course or method.
3. a lack of direction or goal; aimlessness.
4. deceitful or dishonest dealing.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.indirection - indirect procedure or action; "he tried to find out by indirection"
procedure, process - a particular course of action intended to achieve a result; "the procedure of obtaining a driver's license"; "it was a process of trial and error"
2.indirection - deceitful action that is not straightforward; "he could see through the indirections of diplomats"
dissimulation, deception, dissembling, deceit - the act of deceiving
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"In your case, I fear, confession is exploitation by indirection, profit-making by ruse, self-aggrandizement at the expense of God."
It was exploitation by indirection. She was not happy with the other man.
Incidentally, the sled went faster, and thus, by cunning indirection, did man increase his mastery over the beasts.
He was, as I remember, unable to tell directly, what made him happy or unhappy, but by wonderful indirections he could tell.
Greenblatt credits Shakespeare as "the supreme master of displacement and strategic indirection," because he used "historical distance" and "the artifice of fiction" to lambaste and lampoon contemporary Elizabethan England.
Photography, that is to say, registers a photographic process, and in this doubling back of the medium on itself lies a curious visual indirection: What the Polaroid shows more clearly with each step is a view outside the field of the work itself and yet inseparably bound up by technical causation with the object of depiction: properly speaking, the camera.
Tyrant ranges across an ample array of Shakespeare's dramatic works as Greenblatt explores Shakespeare's fascination with the "deeply unsettling question: how is it possible for a whole country to fall into the hands of a tyrant?" Describing Shakespeare as a "supreme master of displacement and strategic indirection," he explains how, by never placing his politically charged stories in a contemporary setting, the playwright was able to deftly illuminate the political struggles of the Elizabethan Age without risking his safety.
When I introduced the concept of soft power in 1990, I wrote that it is characterized by voluntarism and indirection, while hard power rests on threats and inducements.
Much of the emotional effect of "Casablanca" is achieved by indirection; as we leave the theater, we are absolutely convinced that the only thing keeping the world from going crazy is that the problems of three little people do after all amount to more than a hill of beans."
My poetry imitates or reproduces the way knowledge or awareness come to me, which is by fits and starts and by indirection. I don't think poetry arranged in neat patterns would reflect that situation.
If the military's doctrine emphasizes maneuver and indirection, such as the Israeli military and German army during the early part of World War II, then it needs an organization that is decentralized, has a low degree of standardization (that is, allows its personnel to deviate from standard practices as the situation warrants), and has a high degree of horizontal integration so that field commanders can coordinate directly with their local counterparts in other units and services without having to get approval all the way up and down their respective chains of command.
Working under the relentless eye of government censorship makes it necessary to learn to write by indirection. Though her language is often simple, what it conveys most often is not.