A few example are in order:

One way flow

  1. An injection.

  2. A river flowing into an ocean.

  3. A mothers love.

Two way flow

  1. Phone calls.

  2. The flow of water between two oceans.

  3. Herpies.

So, as you can see, all these things share the same property informally called 'flow', though it can only be one of two things in any point in time. As said property seems to be quite universal, I was wondering if there's an official term for what I dub 'one way flow', and 'two way flow'.

  • 1
    As in unidirectional and bidirectional? Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:11
  • 1
    One-way and two-way are formal/official terms.
    – NVZ
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:18
  • @NVS, their to vague a terms though. So if something is 'two way', that could mean many different things, which is why I gave example. Such an official term wouldn't need examples. Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:32
  • @HughMeyers I like it, though it still doesn't seem to be exactly there. Commented May 30, 2016 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


Websters gives the following definitions of unidirectional

1: involving, functioning, moving, or responsive in a single direction

2: not subject to change or reversal of direction

and bidirectional

involving, moving, or taking place in two usually opposite directions

I think those meet your needs. Specific to phone calls would be duplex for bidirectional. Half duplex communication is bidirectional but only one direction at a time.

  • I recommend using the "block quote" format for the definitions you've quoted. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented May 30, 2016 at 16:16

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