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A provision in a statute, rule of procedure, or the like, that is a mere direction or instruction of no obligatory force and involves no invalidating consequence for its disregard, as opposed to an imperative or mandatory provision, which must be followed. The general rule is that the prescriptions of a statute relating to the performance of a public duty are so far directory that, though neglect of them may be punishable, it does not affect the validity of the acts done under them, as in the case of a statute requiring an officer to prepare and deliver a document to another officer on or before a certain day.

Generally, statutory provisions that do not relate to the essence of a thing to be done, and as to which compliance is a matter of convenience rather than of substance, are directory, while provisions that relate to the essence of a thing to be done, that is, matters of substance, are mandatory.


noun catalogue, guidebook, handbook, index, manual, reference book, reference work
See also: roll

DIRECTORY. That which points out a thing or course of proceeding; for example, a directory law.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Yahoo Preferred Partner Program offers a wide range of resources, training, and support to help partner members grow their businesses.
So far, the board has stuck by Mayer, who would receive a severance package of $158 million if Yahoo were sold and her job was terminated.
Yahoo now says about 575 million people worldwide regularly visit its services on smartphones and tablets.
Investments in Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce company, and Yahoo Japan are the main reason Yahoo's stock has tripled since Mayer defected from Google to become Yahoo's CEO two-and-half years ago.
The first Yahoo service to require the new sign-in process is Yahoo Sports Tourney Pick'Em, a service focused on the NC college basketball tournament which begins later this month.
The new Yahoo policy went into effect the same day that an update to Tumblr's iOS app removed search results for #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual content.
Even if revenue was $100 million, it means Yahoo paid 10 times revenue," said BGC Financial analyst Colin Gillis.
But visitors haven't been spending as much time at Yahoo.
Thanks to Mayer's move, the eyes of the internet are watching Yahoo more closely than they have for years.
Facebook's News Feed and the way it handles privacy were both in violation of Yahoo's patents, Yahoo contended.
The firm, based in New York, is discussing the possible Yahoo offer with several firms that specialize in buying firms whose stocks have fallen out of favor, according to the daily.
Yahoo Japan currently uses its major shareholder's search engine.