Entries related to misdirect
prefix of Germanic origin affixed to nouns and verbs and meaning "bad, wrong," from Old English mis-, from Proto-Germanic *missa- "divergent, astray" (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon mis-, Middle Dutch misse-, Old High German missa-, German miß-, Old Norse mis-, Gothic missa-), perhaps literally "in a changed manner," and with a root sense of "difference, change" (compare Gothic misso "mutually"), and thus possibly from PIE *mit-to-, from root *mei- (1) "to change."
Productive as word-forming element in Old English (as in mislæran "to give bad advice, teach amiss"). In 14c.-16c. in a few verbs its sense began to be felt as "unfavorably," and it came to be used as an intensive prefix with words already expressing negative feeling (as in misdoubt). Practically a separate word in Old and early Middle English (and often written as such). Old English also had an adjective (mislic "diverse, unlike, various") and an adverb (mislice "in various directions, wrongly, astray") derived from it, corresponding to German misslich (adj.). It has become confused with mis- (2).
late 14c., directen, "to write or address (a letter, words)" to someone, also "to point or make known a course to," from Latin directus past participle of dirigere "set straight, arrange; give a particular direction to, send in a straight line; guide" a thing, either to something or according to something, from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line"). Compare dress; address.
Sense of "to point or aim in a straight line toward a place or an object" is from c. 1400. Meaning "to govern, regulate as to behavior, prescribe the course or actions of" is from early 15c. Sense of "to order, ordain" is from 1650s. Sense of "to write the destination on the outside of a letter" had emerged by 17c. In reference to plays, films, etc., "to supervise and control the making of," it is attested from 1913. Related: Directed; directing.
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The pedestrian misdirected the out-of-town driver
misdirect the letter