Definition of directory in English:



  • 1A book listing individuals or organizations alphabetically or thematically with details such as names, addresses, and telephone numbers.

    • ‘We would like to compile an interior design directory for small businesses in York.’
    • ‘But will he arrange to make copies of the directory available on sale for the public?’
    • ‘Choosing a name from the local telephone directory is risky if you have no other information about the provider.’
    • ‘For this purpose, they conduct surveys and compile an annual directory of all participating companies.’
    • ‘Even media businesses or services without a web presence can benefit from having their details listed in the directory.’
    • ‘Most of these so-called invoices concern subscriptions to print or internet business directories.’
    • ‘There was no regular Philadelphia city directory published in 1838.’
    • ‘Meelick National School will launch a local telephone directory in the next two weeks.’
    • ‘An all-inclusive online directory contains profiles and contact information on legislators and lobbyists.’
    • ‘I go down to the MHS library and begin looking at the 1912 city directories, alphabetical listings of people, their addresses, and occupations.’
    • ‘The directory lists and provides details of South African Art Organisations, Service Industries, and Infrastructure.’
    • ‘The new local area phone directory, being compiled by Roundfort Foroige, is going to print at the weekend.’
    • ‘The directory, besides listing details about its members, has several other user-friendly features.’
    • ‘The 1848-53 Boston city directories listed names, occupations, and addresses of adult residents of Boston.’
    • ‘Other key activities will include a regional organic trade directory listing producers, processors and retailers.’
    • ‘The directory contains telephone numbers of various companies which have been categorised under different heads.’
    • ‘The online membership directory is updated quarterly to incorporate this new information.’
    • ‘In this month three enterprising students from De La Salle College compiled a telephone directory of the local area.’
    • ‘A directory containing the details of the students who are willing to donate blood and their blood groups was released.’
    • ‘Microsoft could help by creating an online directory of local outfits that can install the networks.’
    index, list, listing, register, catalogue, record, archive, inventory
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Computing A file which consists solely of a set of other files (which may themselves be directories).
      • ‘Of course you can delete your entire root directory with this approach if you so choose.’
      • ‘Though my home directory is encrypted, my data still may not be completely safe.’
      • ‘Windows users' roaming user profiles also are stored in their home directories on the server.’
      • ‘By default, most Windows programs will save their files to a specified directory on your hard drive.’
      • ‘Now, your Linux directory listing should show up graphically in your web browser.’
  • 2historical A book of directions for the conduct of Christian worship, especially in Presbyterian and Roman Catholic Churches.

  • 3The revolutionary government in France 1795–99, comprising two councils and a five-member executive. It maintained an aggressive foreign policy but could not control events at home and was overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte.


Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘something that directs’): from late Latin directorium, from director ‘governor’, from dirigere ‘to guide’.