Definition of directive in English:



  • An official or authoritative instruction.

    ‘moral and ethical directives’
    • ‘God shows no partiality to the rich or poor when it comes to obeying his moral directives.’
    • ‘At World Cups, referees receive directives from Fifa about a particular aspect of the game which has become a concern.’
    • ‘None of the above directives have ever been implemented or enforced.’
    • ‘In fact, many are likely to be confused and discouraged by these prescriptions and directives.’
    • ‘Everything is illegal unless approved by the government, thus the reason for such idiotic regulations and directives.’
    • ‘Schools in Bangalore are in focus these days, thanks to two 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.’
    • ‘If Community action is required, the Commission will proceed through directives rather than regulations.’
    • ‘It cannot afford to have a deputy who needs to rely on directions and directives from above.’
    • ‘It also drafts standards for power conversion and monitors European Commission directives on behalf of its members.’
    • ‘Ireland has also been punished by Europe for failing to implement a number of environmental directives.’
    • ‘State authorities have ignored court directives demanding certain prisoners be produced.’
    • ‘The US government has no authority to issue directives to the country's courts.’
    • ‘It had become a work game whereby workers found ways to subvert directives from supervisors.’
    • ‘In fact, it could not change its plan as it was set in stone, dictated by EU directives.’
    • ‘The police had registered the case and started investigations on directives from the Chief Minister.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thus, we can see the directives of the local authorities in making those decisions.’
    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.

    ‘he is seeking a directive role in energy policy’
    • ‘The above schematic principle functions as a directive principle within evolutionary biology.’
    • ‘Are these rights in the South African Constitution viewed in effect by the Court as directive principles?’
    • ‘But the system only worked because the United States was prepared to play a leading and directive role.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘James therefore continues the passage quoted above with a new directive speech act.’
    • ‘What the Indian Constitution of 1950 called directive principles of state policies illustrates this clearly.’
    • ‘My actions revealed a more directive approach, one that seemed inconsistent with my ideal view of collaborative supervision.’
    • ‘Although I began the new center with a more directive approach, I became more facilitative as time passed.’
    • ‘The Bank of Montreal was not prepared to do so and the terms of the order were not very directive towards the Bank.’
    • ‘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.’


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