Definition of indirect in English:


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  • 1Not directly caused by or resulting from something.

    ‘full employment would have an indirect effect on wage levels’
    • ‘Direct impacts initiate subsequent rounds of income creation, spending and re-spending and result in indirect and induced effects.’
    • ‘In this first mechanism, the gene is not strictly required in the embryo sac; the effect is an indirect result of the specialization of the endosperm.’
    • ‘What if the heritabilities observed for IQ are a result of indirect effects that can be changed by changing social practice?’
    • ‘Considerably more research is needed on this question before the global results on the indirect effects of conflict on mortality can be assessed.’
    • ‘Even when behavioural self-handicapping does directly impede an athlete, there may still be positive indirect effects of this behaviour on performance.’
    • ‘Now, however, I am able to actually observe them in everyday life, based on indirect effects, behaviors, and other results.’
    • ‘However, our results suggest that nutrient excretion by fish may have important indirect effects on zooplankton.’
    • ‘Divine grace was unknowable directly, and could only be seen by its indirect effects.’
    • ‘A lot of research to date has focused on possible indirect effects of mobile phones.’
    • ‘All these factors, which have no independent effect under my theory, still come in with their indirect effects, since they affect what rights get violated in the end.’
    • ‘Aside from wanting to uphold the principles of the university, students might question the effects of indirect tobacco advertisements on non-smokers.’
    • ‘And this indirect effect has been regional as well as national.’
    • ‘These interaction terms represent the indirect effect drug use has on wages.’
    • ‘It may not be a pretty tale, but there are indirect positive effects from smokers.’
    • ‘This emphasizes that there is a general effect of inbreeding that is an indirect result of the change in genotype frequencies.’
    • ‘Ironically, this is an indirect result of the success of the Government in achieving stability and relative economic prosperity.’
    • ‘As the century began, a major division in the historically dominant Protestant churches had the indirect effect of distancing cultural elites from religion.’
    • ‘In the current study, two potential avenues for indirect crossover effects of stress on spouses' individual and marital well-being were examined.’
    • ‘Thus, considered from an intergroup perspective, the new legislation is likely to have indirect effects on older students' attitudes and behaviours toward alcohol.’
    • ‘Furthermore, as in Example 1, there can be a substantial difference between direct effect and total effect including indirect effect.’
    incidental, accidental, unintended, secondary, subordinate, ancillary, collateral, concomitant, accompanying, contingent, resulting, resultant, consequential, derived, derivative
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    1. 1.1Not done directly; conducted through intermediaries.
      ‘the nature of the threat can be pieced together only from indirect evidence’
      • ‘There is indirect evidence for the existence of such intermediates.’
      • ‘In the absence of neap tide transect data this hypothesis cannot be tested directly, but three pieces of indirect evidence weigh against it as a complete explanation.’
      • ‘The crystals in the meteorite are the strongest indirect evidence in history that life did exist on other worlds.’
      • ‘However, so far there is only indirect evidence for scents influencing discrimination or generalization learning of food-deceptive flowers by bees.’
      • ‘The review also found significant indirect evidence that links mold, moisture and microbiological activity to asthma and other respiratory diseases.’
      • ‘There is some evidence that chromium, boron, and other inorganic elements play some part in human nutrition, but the evidence is indirect and not yet convincing.’
      • ‘With respect, I believe the trial judge erred by failing to recognize that subjective belief can be, and frequently is, proven by indirect or circumstantial evidence.’
      • ‘The wave of decolonization was succeeded by efforts on the part of the former imperial powers to retain links with, and even indirect control of, their former empires.’
      • ‘All sciences frequently rely on indirect evidence.’
      • ‘While elevated concentrations of nitrate in water have been known to cause illness in babies, there is also indirect evidence that they can cause cancer.’
      • ‘Because the traditional techniques used to assess embolism repair require destructive sampling, for a long time the evidence was indirect.’
      • ‘There is, however, indirect evidence against such bias.’
      • ‘While the invention of language left no direct evidence, from early archeological sites we have found indirect evidence - toys.’
      • ‘Although this assumption may be reasonable in some cases, recent indirect experimental evidence suggests that it may not always apply.’
      • ‘When there is no direct randomised evidence, the adjusted indirect method may provide useful information about relative efficacy of competing interventions.’
      • ‘Numerous studies aimed at the plasma membrane have provided indirect evidence for the existence of distinct signaling domains.’
      • ‘The investigators say they have indirect evidence that Genghis Khan carried the Y chromosome variant that caught their eye.’
      • ‘Yet there is clear, though indirect, evidence that both contract armies and retainers receiving fee and wages were in existence at least as early as 1100.’
      • ‘It is also indirect evidence that the common ancestor of all today's birds was, like Gansus, adapted to an aquatic lifestyle.’
      • ‘But most of the evidence is indirect, because it's not possible to examine the brain tissue of people directly.’
    2. 1.2(of costs) deriving from overhead charges or subsidiary work.
      ‘hidden or indirect costs involved in training’
      • ‘Will this new organization repay all direct costs as well as indirect costs and allocated overhead?’
      • ‘The award will not include overhead or indirect costs.’
      • ‘You will also have other costs, indirect costs or overheads, these are costs you will still have to pay whether you work for that client or not.’
      • ‘The indirect costs often exceed the direct costs of absenteeism.’
      • ‘This article discusses the indirect costs businesses can pay when executives financially endorse a candidate.’
      • ‘Second, indirect costs are allocated to products according to different criteria.’
      • ‘The indirect cost will come to 50 per cent of the freight charges.’
      • ‘But this number could be as high as $1 billion, the Center determined, because of indirect costs from resource damage and subsidies.’
      • ‘The grants may not be used for salary or to pay indirect costs.’
      • ‘The remaining 25 percent covers indirect costs, such as facilities and administration.’
      • ‘Third, there is the indirect cost of reinforcing the need of patients to seek medical care for any productive cough.’
      • ‘Had the indirect costs been calculated, the savings would have been greater.’
      • ‘Also included were indirect costs of loss of production owing to absenteeism from work or days of inactivity for patients with or without a paid job.’
      • ‘They include direct costs such as health care and law enforcement, and indirect costs of lost productivity.’
      • ‘Also, we included no indirect costs - for example, due to social care or employment.’
      • ‘It not only includes the direct costs of treatment but also the indirect costs including lost productivity, both while at work and days absent from work.’
      • ‘There will also be indirect costs to consumers because these companies will be unable to fully absorb another rise to their overheads.’
      • ‘This does not include indirect costs such as earnings foregone.’
      • ‘Thus, when the indirect cost of hospital days are considered along with the direct costs of the drugs, health care costs of treating schizophrenia are reduced.’
      • ‘They suggested the inclusion of indirect expenses in manufacturing costs by means of the addition of a percentage at the end of each account in the prime cost ledger.’
    3. 1.3(of taxation) levied on goods and services rather than income or profits.
      ‘He also shifted the tax burden from direct income tax to indirect taxation through the introduction of a goods and service tax.’
      • ‘And if you tax consumption with indirect taxation, taxes often pyramid, with resultant price increases of a regressive nature.’
      • ‘The paradigm of direct taxation is income tax, the paradigm of indirect taxation is a tax on sales.’
      • ‘The authors focus on the increasing cost of war as an explanation of the Portuguese shift from domain revenues to direct and indirect taxation.’
      • ‘Thus the adoption of true free trade involves the abolition of all indirect taxation of whatever kind, and the resort to direct taxation for all public revenues.’
      • ‘Should tax increases be required, they should be raised through indirect taxation.’
      • ‘Second, policy has sought to reduce the range of price interventions that can serve as a form of indirect taxation on emerging capitalist farmers.’
      • ‘Of course the licence fee should be seen for what it now is, a crude form of indirect taxation that taxes all households irrespective of their ability to pay.’
      • ‘It will be more of the same - indirect taxation on cigarettes and drink.’
      • ‘It is that even after this fall, the government is taking away more than ever in higher council taxes, fuel bills and indirect taxation, as if nothing had changed.’
      • ‘He has repeatedly said he wants to see a switch from indirect taxation to taxation on income.’
      • ‘While the UK has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Europe, the level of indirect taxation is amongst the highest.’
      • ‘If the resource cost of labour is its price in employment before the removal of income tax, then it is traditionally valued before indirect taxation is added.’
      • ‘While pointing out that the Budget contained minimal increases in indirect taxation and excise duties, he accepted price and cost levels remain high.’
      • ‘This is an indirect taxation on lower earners, which can mean that for a £100 increase in earnings the actual net benefit can be as low as £20.’
      • ‘The survey also reveals how the burden of increased indirect taxation rests upon the shoulders of the poorest sections of the population.’
      • ‘Increases in indirect taxation, which hit the poor hardest, have also been announced.’
      • ‘The working population that earn under twenty grand pay the bulk of indirect taxation through vice and vehicle.’
      • ‘Does indirect taxation on ‘sin’ products, such as fuel and tobacco, actually reduce consumption?’
      • ‘The main reason for the increase was the higher amounts collected through indirect taxation.’
  • 2(of a route) not straight; not following the shortest way.

    ‘he took a careful, indirect route home from his dockside rendezvous’
    • ‘To have any hope of success, the effort to reduce the country's dependence on subsidies will have to follow indirect routes.’
    • ‘And they took a most indirect route to the cemetery, heading out across the Bow flyover.’
    • ‘Some businesses said they had experienced a drop in takings when it came to the closure because many customers were not willing to take an indirect route.’
    • ‘Then I meandered back home, taking an indirect route, because the weather was just so lovely.’
    • ‘The Jubilee line follows a single path with no branches or junctions, although it's a very wiggly and indirect route.’
    • ‘To avoid the problems of trying to tie the facility to productivity, some companies take an indirect route, using occupant satisfaction as a marker for productivity.’
    • ‘Analysts can easily and clearly display obstacles, indirect routes or connections, and suspected connections.’
    • ‘Since we had to pass that way on the long, indirect route back to Jerusalem (intending to go to Gaza), we opted to stop by, getting out in Manger Square.’
    • ‘A few finally made it home by flying in a hugely indirect route.’
    • ‘I have to keep Jamie safe, so I decided to take a more indirect route.’
    • ‘My observation is that the indirect route was common for many of these people.’
    • ‘As soon as we sat down, the bus began to lumber forward once more on its slow, indirect route to school.’
    • ‘In other cases, the hounds, followed at a distance by the mounted field, who may have to take an indirect route, will pursue the fox or, rather, its scent.’
    • ‘Mapping services, for instance, often provide driving directions that get you there via a slow, indirect route.’
    • ‘I travelled home via an indirect, long-winded route simply because it was sunny and I had time to spare.’
    • ‘On 5 January the helicopter came in and flew us back to Scott Base, using a rather indirect route in order to complete a couple of other missions in the region.’
    • ‘After following Matt's very indirect and confusing directions, I reach his friends house.’
    • ‘All in all, indirect cargo flights are not a bad idea.’
    • ‘Last month, the government proposed allowing indirect charter cargo flights between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.’
    • ‘The only drawback is that the cheapest deals are using charter flights or indirect routings which are less comfortable as a rule.’
    roundabout, circuitous, deviant, divergent, wandering, meandering, serpentine, winding, curving, tortuous, zigzag
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    1. 2.1(of lighting) from a concealed source and diffusely reflected.
      ‘fittings were installed to give a subdued, indirect light in the nave’
      • ‘Shielded lamps and indirect luminaires prevent the lighting installation from aggravating the problems of stress.’
      • ‘Use indirect lighting such as an adjustable light source at your desk to find the right amount of glare-free light.’
      • ‘The ceiling was at least five meters over their heads, a cool, light-blue dome illuminated by indirect lighting.’
      • ‘Good fixture designs reduce glare by balancing indirect lighting and downlighting.’
      • ‘The spaces need indirect lighting sources, preferably wall sconces and floor lamps to be less harsh on members' eyes when lying on their backs.’
      • ‘The fixture type most commonly used for indirect lighting in most spaces is the pendant linear fluorescent uplight.’
      • ‘Pendant lights illuminate the meeting spaces, and there is indirect lighting throughout.’
      • ‘For example, discreet indirect lighting allows for nighttime activities in a formerly candlelit room.’
      • ‘Plastic hydronic piping is cast into the concrete floor slabs, which is used as the finished ceiling, with suspended indirect lighting.’
      • ‘The lighting was indirect and gave the room a cozy feeling.’
      • ‘Almost anyone in our society knows what indirect lighting is.’
      • ‘To this end, he installed indirect lighting in the gardens that gives them a distinctive, warm, yellow glow at night.’
      • ‘All technical steps were carried out under dim indirect lighting.’
      • ‘Use indirect lighting to add ambience and to enhance the sleek design of your contemporary furniture.’
      • ‘An accent ledge along the top of the wall reinforces the curve and accommodates indirect lighting.’
      • ‘The work of world historians throws an indirect light on the history of international systems, but their accounts of it are at best partial and inferred.’
      • ‘By being suspended or wall mounted it will provide indirect diffuse and feature lighting, and it is available in several different lengths and can be operated in a linked installation.’
      • ‘Thin-film panels are also more efficient than crystalline in indirect or diffuse light, making expensive tracking systems unnecessary.’
      • ‘‘Some ceilings are prettier under indirect light,’ she says.’
      • ‘A 10-foot plaster ceiling drops 6 inches lower over the island to supply indirect and task lighting.’
    2. 2.2Soccer Denoting a free kick from which a goal may not be scored directly.
      ‘Could have been an own-goal or it could have been an indirect free-kick for a back-pass.’
      • ‘However, the game was far from over and after Portlaw scored an indirect free kick, Kilmac found themselves under pressure, but held out for victory.’
      • ‘It's an indirect free-kick for Sweden on the byline just outside the Bulgaria six-yard box.’
      • ‘It wasn't a penalty, but it was an indirect free-kick.’
      • ‘For any offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free-kick to the opposing team to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.’
      • ‘But the pressure finally took its toll when the visitors scored following an indirect free kick.’
      • ‘The visitors were awarded an indirect free kick in the Southend United penalty area on the hour mark.’
      • ‘The rules state that that should have been an indirect free-kick to us.’
      • ‘Two penalty claims, one for hand-ball, were waved away and County failed to capitalise on an indirect free-kick from an illegal pass-back.’
      • ‘The resulting indirect free kick from the edge of the six yard box cannoned off a Kendal body as all 11 players stood strung out along the goal-line.’
      • ‘Usher made the tie safe when they scored a third from a well worked indirect free with ten minutes remaining.’
  • 3Avoiding direct mention or exposition of a subject.

    ‘this constitutes an indirect attack on workers everywhere’
    • ‘I would be surprised if I went through all the prayers and there was no mention, direct or indirect, of the Ten Commandments or a couple of them.’
    • ‘Of the Tories, there was only one direct mention and one indirect reference as the Prime Minister seemed to have bigger things on his mind.’
    • ‘Being excitable is not helpful in dealing with a direct or indirect attack and discredits all the good work.’
    • ‘There are concerns that indirect comparisons may be subject to greater bias than direct comparisons and may overestimate the efficacy of interventions.’
    • ‘Bullying can be direct, through verbal or physical attacks, or indirect, through exclusion or rejection.’
    • ‘Yet, for all the attention, you never get any look into the robbers aside from frustratingly indirect exposition and a jarring dash of darkly pessimistic politics at the very end.’
    • ‘His skyward-looking subject matter suggests an indirect tribute to painters who used the form to enfold the sublime.’
    • ‘People did not try to talk me out of writing about any subject, or apply direct or indirect pressure on me.’
    • ‘No direct or indirect references may be made to the author should the information contained within this email need to be disclosed in any kind of meeting.’
    • ‘Despite the separation of church and state in America, religion and politics in this country have long influenced one another in ways direct and indirect.’
    • ‘Five years ago, you lodged your employment law case for direct and indirect discrimination plus victimisation.’
    • ‘In direct and indirect ways, Kip emphasized to his students that we should not waste time on problems that weren't well posed.’
    • ‘Anyone who works under direct or indirect instruction and/or is supplied with materials by a company or individual on behalf of a third party is classed as a worker.’
    • ‘This indirect sort of accusation on his part represents the worst sort of managerial cowardice.’
    oblique, inexplicit, roundabout, circuitous
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/ˌindəˈrek(t)/ /ˌɪndəˈrɛk(t)/ /ˌinˌdīˈrek(t)/ /ˌɪnˌdaɪˈrɛk(t)/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘not in full grammatical concord’): from medieval Latin indirectus, from in- ‘not’ + directus (see direct).