Definition of directive in English:



  • An official or authoritative instruction.

    ‘a new EC directive’
    • ‘The Chief Justice will issue directives which will guide attorneys and others on what practice is to be utilised.’
    • ‘He said the directives should be given legal authority for the system to work.’
    • ‘In fact, many are likely to be confused and discouraged by these prescriptions and directives.’
    • ‘To recall, the state is deemed to enforce all directives of Apex Courts without any impediment.’
    • ‘Law-making in the EU is generally carried out through regulations or directives.’
    • ‘Everything is illegal unless approved by the government, thus the reason for such idiotic regulations and directives.’
    • ‘State authorities have ignored court directives demanding certain prisoners be produced.’
    • ‘In fact, it could not change its plan as it was set in stone, dictated by EU directives.’
    • ‘It cannot afford to have a deputy who needs to rely on directions and directives from above.’
    • ‘None of the above directives have ever been implemented or enforced.’
    • ‘If Community action is required, the Commission will proceed through directives rather than regulations.’
    • ‘Schools in Bangalore are in focus these days, thanks to two directives.’
    • ‘At World Cups, referees receive directives from Fifa about a particular aspect of the game which has become a concern.’
    • ‘It also drafts standards for power conversion and monitors European Commission directives on behalf of its members.’
    • ‘The US government has no authority to issue directives to the country's courts.’
    • ‘Thus, we can see the directives of the local authorities in making those decisions.’
    • ‘It had become a work game whereby workers found ways to subvert directives from supervisors.’
    • ‘God shows no partiality to the rich or poor when it comes to obeying his moral directives.’
    • ‘The police had registered the case and started investigations on directives from the Chief Minister.’
    • ‘Ireland has also been punished by Europe for failing to implement a number of environmental directives.’
    instruction, direction, command, order, charge, injunction, enjoinment, prescription, demand
    rule, ruling, regulation, law, dictate, decree, dictum, edict, notice, ordinance, mandate, fiat, diktat
    View synonyms


  • Involving the management or guidance of operations.

    ‘the authority is seeking a directive role in energy policy’
    • ‘But the system only worked because the United States was prepared to play a leading and directive role.’
    • ‘Are these rights in the South African Constitution viewed in effect by the Court as directive principles?’
    • ‘The above schematic principle functions as a directive principle within evolutionary biology.’
    • ‘Although I began the new center with a more directive approach, I became more facilitative as time passed.’
    • ‘James therefore continues the passage quoted above with a new directive speech act.’
    • ‘The Bank of Montreal was not prepared to do so and the terms of the order were not very directive towards the Bank.’
    • ‘What the Indian Constitution of 1950 called directive principles of state policies illustrates this clearly.’
    • ‘Compare the rights at issue in this case with directive principles in the Indian Constitution.’
    • ‘I regard that as much more directive than simply responding to a request.’
    • ‘A directive style was more common among senior managers than middle managers.’
    • ‘We can then use the require directive line to restrict users to one or more particular groups.’
    • ‘My actions revealed a more directive approach, one that seemed inconsistent with my ideal view of collaborative supervision.’


Late Middle English (as an adjective): from medieval Latin directivus, from direct- guided, put straight, from the verb dirigere (see direct).