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From Middle French indirect, from Late Latin indirectus



indirect (comparative more indirect, superlative most indirect)

  1. Not direct; roundabout; deceiving; setting a trap; confusing.
    • 1974, Thomas S. Szasz, M.D., chapter 8, in The Myth of Mental Illness[1], ISBN 0-06-091151-4, page 139-140:
      Indirect messages permit communicative contacts when,
      without them, the alternatives would be total inhibition, si-
      lence, and solitude on the one hand, or, on the other, com-
      municative behavior that is direct, offensive, and hence
      forbidden. This is a painful choice. In actual practice, neither
      alternative is likely to result in the gratification of personal or
      sexual needs. In this dilemma, indirect communications pro-
      vide a useful compromise. As an early move in the dating
      game, the young man might invite the young woman to dinner
      or to the movies. These communications are polyvalent: both
      the invitation and the response to it have several "levels" of
      meaning. One is the level of the overt message—that is,
      whether they will have dinner together, go to a movie, and so
      forth. Another, more covert, level pertains to the question of
      sexual activity: acceptance of the dinner invitation implies
      that sexual overtures might perhaps follow. Conversely, rejec-
      tion of the invitation means not only refusal of companionship
      for dinner but also of the possibility of further sexual explora-
      tion. There may be still other levels of meaning. For example,
      acceptance of the dinner invitation may be interpreted as a
      sign of personal or sexual worth and hence grounds for
      increased self-esteem, whereas its rejection may mean the
      opposite and generate feelings of worthlessness.


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From in- +‎ direct.



indirect (feminine singular indirecte, masculine plural indirects, feminine plural indirectes)

  1. indirect

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