Definition of misdirect in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Send (someone or something) to the wrong place or in the wrong direction.

    ‘voters were misdirected to the wrong polling place’
    • ‘It has even turned worse now that traffic signs misdirect traffic for Boyle direction up that road.’
    • ‘Many's the bewildered soul misdirected here in search of some nugget of information that I know nothing about, or that I covered in depth months ago but is no longer on the front page.’
    • ‘Delegates to the Democratic convention in Boston, though, did not have to hide their Kerry buttons to avoid being assaulted, harassed, or misdirected by Republican protestors.’
    • ‘Apparently the kids were misdirecting him a bit, but he should have known the way.’
    • ‘Other business leaders said Bolton is badly signposted, with visitors from the North often being misdirected by signs at Kearsley roundabout, and little or no signs in the centre itself.’
    misinformed, misled, misdirected, labouring under a delusion, labouring under a misapprehension, wrong, mistaken, deluded, ill-advised, foolish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Aim (something) in the wrong direction.
      ‘he misdirected a shot’
      • ‘I also noticed I was in the line of fire should Puckett misdirect one.’
      • ‘She misdirects the throw and it lands in the arms of some woman who is ecstatic and shouting, ‘I'm getting married next!’’
      • ‘Pulling and dragging was too commonplace, passes were misdirected and inaccuracy reared its head frequently.’
      • ‘Within the opening 30 minutes of play, about five goal attempts were bungled as the players misdirected shots that could have easily been placed into the nets.’
      • ‘Perhaps the expectation of the players was too high and when things started to go wrong, passes were spilled or misdirected and ball turned over in the tackle, they seemed to panic.’
    2. 1.2 (of a judge) instruct wrongly.
      ‘the appeals court was satisfied that the trial judge had misdirected the jury’
      • ‘The appeal, however, was allowed upon another ground which the Court does not need to trouble itself with, that is, that the judge misdirected the jury upon the appellant's unsworn statement.’
      • ‘The judicial errors identified by the Court of Appeal in your client's case were that the trial judge misdirected the jury as to the meaning of the words ‘knowing and believing’.’
      • ‘But the judge has misdirected himself plainly on the legal position.’
      • ‘What has happened here is that the Court of Criminal Appeal has accepted that the trial judge misdirected the jury because there was a change in legal principle.’
      • ‘The Court of Appeal agreed that the trial judge had misdirected the jury in certain respects, but held that the jury's directions were unduly favourable to the applicant.’
    3. 1.3 Use or apply (something) wrongly or inappropriately.
      ‘their efforts have been largely misdirected’
      • ‘This has serious policy implications, because, if we misunderstand the causes of what concerns us, we misdirect our efforts to change it.’
      • ‘He even argued, if memory serves, that the root of all sin was misdirected virtue.’
      • ‘But solidarity and patriotism can be misdirected, and it is time that we rethink our priorities.’
      • ‘But that is not to say the protests are misdirected or that they are without justification.’
      • ‘However, as the pandemic unfolded with a terrible ferocity across Africa, she became increasingly frustrated with the, in her view, often misdirected efforts of charitable organisations in the Western world.’
      • ‘Thus reason, too, can be misused, misdirected, or misleading.’
      • ‘This theme has to be glossed somewhat, because of the platform, but we can make the point that much criticism of our appointees has been misdirected.’
      • ‘If price is not at the top of the consumer's list of priorities then the advertising campaign ASDA has been running for some years is completely misdirected.’
      • ‘While this line of argument exposes some of the biases informing the academic boycott movement, there are two other important reasons why a boycott of Israeli universities is misdirected.’
      • ‘But the policies are misdirected and don't coax people back into work.’
      • ‘As a response to the threat posed by international terrorism, the draft bill seems hopelessly misdirected - if only because terrorists do not normally come calling at the borders, begging for asylum.’
      • ‘Your correspondent rightly complains about the outbreak of unnecessary pedestrian islands, in particular in Banstead Road South, but when he accuses the council his concern is misdirected.’
      • ‘What that means is that NASA's entire space medicine program is misdirected.’
      • ‘Such sympathy was profoundly misdirected, comforting aggressors rather than victims.’
      • ‘I just believe that their effort is profoundly misdirected.’
      • ‘This latest ‘don't buy a round’ gimmick is misdirected.’
      • ‘We thus argue that efforts to turn the tide of adult obesity will be misdirected it they are directed primarily at turning plump children into thin children.’
      • ‘However, some students are complaining that the $64-million ‘gift’ is being misdirected.’
      • ‘Is it possible that so much brainpower, money and time is completely misdirected?’
      • ‘While those intentions are surely genuine, they are misdirected.’