- direct (adj.)
- late 14c., from Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight" (see direct (v.)).
- direct (v.)
- late 14c., "to write (to someone), to address," from Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (see regal). Compare dress; address.
Meaning "to govern, regulate" is from c. 1500; "to order, ordain" is from 1650s. Sense of "to write the destination on the outside of a letter" is from 16c. Of plays, films, etc., from 1913. Related: Directed; directing.