Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Mathematics A geometric figure formed by a point moving along a fixed direction and the reverse direction.
  • n. A thin continuous mark, as that made by a pen, pencil, or brush applied to a surface.
  • n. A similar mark cut or scratched into a surface.
  • n. A crease in the skin, especially on the face; a wrinkle.
  • n. A real or imaginary mark positioned in relation to fixed points of reference.
  • n. A degree or circle of longitude or latitude drawn on a map or globe.
  • n. The equator. Used with the.
  • n. A border or boundary: the county line.
  • n. A demarcation: a line of darker water beyond the reef.
  • n. A contour or an outline: the line of the hills against the evening sky.
  • n. A mark used to define a shape or represent a contour.
  • n. Any of the marks that make up the formal design of a picture.
  • n. A cable, rope, string, cord, or wire.
  • n. Nautical A rope used aboard a ship.
  • n. A fishing line.
  • n. A clothesline.
  • n. A cord or tape used, as by builders or surveyors, for measuring, leveling, or straightening.
  • n. A pipe or system of pipes for conveying a fluid: gas lines.
  • n. An electric-power transmission cable.
  • n. A wire or system of wires connecting telephone or telegraph systems.
  • n. An open or functioning telephone connection: tried to get a free line.
  • n. A passenger or cargo system of public or private transportation, as by ship, aircraft, or bus, usually over a definite route.
  • n. A company owning or managing such a system.
  • n. A railway track or system of tracks.
  • n. A particular section of a railway network: the Philadelphia-Trenton line.
  • n. A course of progress or movement; a route: a line of flight.
  • n. A general method, manner, or course of procedure: different lines of thought; took a hard line on defense.
  • n. A manner or course of procedure determined by a specified factor: development along socialist lines.
  • n. An official or prescribed policy: the party line.
  • n. A general concept or model. Often used in the plural: a trilogy along the lines of the Oresteia.
  • n. A condition of agreement; alignment: brought the front wheels into line; a wage agreement in line with current inflation.
  • n. One's trade, occupation, or field of interest: What line of work are you in?
  • n. Range of competence: not in my line.
  • n. Merchandise or services of a similar or related nature: carries a complete line of small tools.
  • n. A group of persons or things arranged in a row or series: long lines at the box office; a line of stones.
  • n. Ancestry or lineage.
  • n. A series of persons, especially from one family, who succeed each other: a line of monarchs; comes from a long line of bankers.
  • n. A strain, as of livestock or plants, developed and maintained by selective breeding.
  • n. A sequence of related things that leads to a certain ending: a line of argument.
  • n. An ordered system of operations that allows a sequential manufacture or assembly of goods at all or various stages of production.
  • n. The personnel of an organization or a business who actually make a product or perform a service.
  • n. A horizontal row of printed or written words or symbols.
  • n. One of the horizontal scans forming a television image.
  • n. A brief letter; a note: I'll drop you a line.
  • n. A unit of verse ending in a visual or typographic break and generally characterized by its length and meter: a line of iambic pentameter.
  • n. The dialogue of a theatrical presentation, such as a play. Often used in the plural: spent the weekend learning her lines.
  • n. Informal Glib or insincere talk, usually intended to deceive or impress: He kept on handing me a line about how busy he is.
  • n. Chiefly British A marriage certificate.
  • n. Chiefly British A usually specified number of lines of prose or verse to be written out by a pupil as punishment.
  • n. Games A horizontal demarcation on a scorecard in bridge dividing the honor score from the trick score.
  • n. A source of information.
  • n. The information itself: got a line on the computer project.
  • n. Music One of the five parallel marks constituting a staff.
  • n. A sustained melodic or harmonic part in a piece: a rock song with a driving bass line.
  • n. A formation in which elements, such as troops, tanks, or ships, are arranged abreast of one another.
  • n. The battle area closest to the enemy; the front.
  • n. The combat troops or warships at the front, arrayed for defense or offense.
  • n. The regular forces of an army or a navy, in contrast to staff and support personnel.
  • n. The class of officers in direct command of warships or of army combat units.
  • n. A bulwark or trench.
  • n. An extended system of such fortifications or defenses: the Siegfried line.
  • n. Sports A foul line.
  • n. Sports A real or imaginary mark demarcating a specified section of a playing area or field.
  • n. Sports A real or imaginary mark or point at which a race begins or ends.
  • n. Sports The center and two wings making up a hockey team's offensive unit.
  • n. Football Sports A line of scrimmage.
  • n. Football Sports The linemen considered as a group.
  • n. Informal The odds a bookmaker gives, especially for sports events.
  • n. The proportion of an insurance risk assumed by a particular underwriter or company.
  • n. Slang A small amount of cocaine arranged in a thin, usually tightly rolled strip for sniffing.
  • n. Archaic One's lot or position in life.
  • transitive v. To mark, incise, or cover with a line or lines.
  • transitive v. To represent with lines.
  • transitive v. To place in a series or row.
  • transitive v. To form a bordering line along: Small stalls lined the alley.
  • transitive v. Baseball To hit (a ball) sharply so that it flies low and fast.
  • intransitive v. Baseball To hit a line drive: lined out to shortstop.
  • line up To arrange in or form a line.
  • line up Football To take one's position in a formation before a snap or kickoff.
  • line up To organize and make ready: lined up considerable support for the bill.
  • idiom all along the line In every place.
  • idiom all along the line At every stage or moment.
  • idiom down the line All the way; throughout: Errors are to be found down the line.
  • idiom down the line At a point or an end in the future.
  • idiom in line for Next in order for: in line for the presidency.
  • idiom on the line Ready or available for immediate payment.
  • idiom on the line So as to be risked; in jeopardy: "Careers were on the line once again” ( Seymour M. Hersh).
  • idiom out of line Uncalled-for; improper.
  • idiom out of line Unruly and out of control.
  • transitive v. To fit a covering to the inside surface of: a coat lined with fur.
  • transitive v. To cover the inner surface of: Moisture lined the walls of the cave.
  • transitive v. To fill plentifully, as with money or food.
  • idiom line (one's) pockets To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A path through two or more points (compare ‘segment’); a continuous mark, including as made by a pen; any path, curved or straight.
  • n. A rope, cord, string, or thread, of any thickness.
  • n. Direction, path.
  • n. The wire connecting one telegraphic station with another, a telephone or internet cable between two points: a telephone or network connection.
  • n. A letter, a written form of communication.
  • n. A connected series of public conveyances, as a roadbed or railway track; and hence, an established arrangement for forwarding merchandise, etc.
  • n. A trench or rampart, or the non-physical demarcation of the extent of the territory occupied by specified forces.
  • n. The exterior limit of a figure or territory: a boundary, contour, or outline; a demarcation.
  • n. A threadlike crease or wrinkle marking the face, hand, or body; hence, a characteristic mark.
  • n. Lineament; feature; figure (of one's body).
  • n. The regular infantry of an army, as distinguished from militia, guards, volunteer corps, cavalry, artillery, etc.
  • n. A series or succession of ancestors or descendants of a given person; a family or race; compare lineage.
  • n. A small amount of text. Specifically:
  • n. A number of shares taken by a jobber.
  • n. A measure of length:
  • n. Alternative name for a maxwell, a unit of magnetic flux.
  • n. The batter’s box.
  • n. The position in which the fencers hold their swords.
  • n. Proper relative position or adjustment (of parts, not as to design or proportion, but with reference to smooth working).
  • n. A small portion or serving (of a powdery illegal drug).
  • v. To place (objects) into a line (usually used with "up"); to form into a line; to align.
  • v. To place persons or things along the side of for security or defense; to strengthen by adding; to fortify.
  • v. To form a line along.
  • v. To mark with a line or lines, to cover with lines.
  • v. To represent by lines; to delineate; to portray.
  • v. To read or repeat line by line.
  • v. To form or enter into a line.
  • v. To hit a line drive; to hit a line drive which is caught for an out. Compare fly and ground.
  • n. Flax; linen, particularly the longer fiber of flax.
  • v. To cover the inner surface of (something), originally especially with linen.
  • v. To reinforce (the back of a book) with glue and glued scrap material such as fabric or paper.
  • v. To fill or supply (something), as a purse with money.
  • v. to copulate with, to impregnate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Flax; linen.
  • n. The longer and finer fiber of flax.
  • n. A linen thread or string; a slender, strong cord; also, a cord of any thickness; a rope; a hawser
  • n. A more or less threadlike mark of pen, pencil, or graver; any long mark.
  • n. The course followed by anything in motion; hence, a road or route
  • n. Direction.
  • n. A row of letters, words, etc., written or printed; esp., a row of words extending across a page or column.
  • n. A short letter; a note.
  • n. A verse, or the words which form a certain number of feet, according to the measure.
  • n. Course of conduct, thought, occupation, or policy; method of argument; department of industry, trade, or intellectual activity.
  • n. That which has length, but not breadth or thickness.
  • n. The exterior limit of a figure, plat, or territory; boundary; contour; outline.
  • n. A threadlike crease marking the face or the hand; hence, characteristic mark.
  • n. Lineament; feature; figure.
  • n. A straight row; a continued series or rank
  • n. A series or succession of ancestors or descendants of a given person; a family or race
  • n. A connected series of public conveyances, and hence, an established arrangement for forwarding merchandise, etc.
  • n.
  • n. A circle of latitude or of longitude, as represented on a map.
  • n. The equator; -- usually called the line, or equinoctial line.
  • n. A long tape, or a narrow ribbon of steel, etc., marked with subdivisions, as feet and inches, for measuring; a tapeline.
  • n.
  • n. A measuring line or cord.
  • n. That which was measured by a line, as a field or any piece of land set apart; hence, allotted place of abode.
  • n. Instruction; doctrine.
  • n. The proper relative position or adjustment of parts, not as to design or proportion, but with reference to smooth working.
  • n. The track and roadbed of a railway; railroad.
  • n.
  • n. A row of men who are abreast of one another, whether side by side or some distance apart; -- opposed to column.
  • n. The regular infantry of an army, as distinguished from militia, guards, volunteer corps, cavalry, artillery, etc.
  • n.
  • n. A trench or rampart.
  • n. Dispositions made to cover extended positions, and presenting a front in but one direction to an enemy.
  • n. Form of a vessel as shown by the outlines of vertical, horizontal, and oblique sections.
  • n. One of the straight horizontal and parallel prolonged strokes on and between which the notes are placed.
  • n. A number of shares taken by a jobber.
  • n. A series of various qualities and values of the same general class of articles
  • n. The wire connecting one telegraphic station with another, or the whole of a system of telegraph wires under one management and name.
  • n. The reins with which a horse is guided by his driver.
  • n. A measure of length; one twelfth of an inch.
  • transitive v. To cover the inner surface of
  • transitive v. To put something in the inside of; to fill; to supply, as a purse with money.
  • transitive v. To place persons or things along the side of for security or defense; to strengthen by adding anything; to fortify.
  • transitive v. To impregnate; -- applied to brute animals.
  • transitive v. To mark with a line or lines; to cover with lines.
  • transitive v. To represent by lines; to delineate; to portray.
  • transitive v. To read or repeat line by line.
  • transitive v. To form into a line; to align.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To draw lines upon; mark with lines or thread-like strokes: said of some decorative processes, and also of the effects of age, fatigue, etc., on the human countenance.
  • To delineate; draw; paint.
  • To give out, line by line; read one or two of the lines or strophes of (a metrical hymn) in public worship before singing.
  • To measure, as land, with a line; fix the boundaries of.
  • To bring into line or aline; hence, to arrange; marshal; employ in service.
  • To place something in a line along; arrange something along and within for security or defense: as, to line works with soldiers.
  • See the quotation.
  • To fish with a line.
  • To cover the inside of (some object, as a garment, a utensil, etc.) with some material other than that of which the object lined is made.
  • Hence, by extension To fill the inside of; wad; stuff: as, to line a purse or a pocket with money.
  • To cover; pad.
  • To impregnate: said of animals.
  • To aid.
  • To form in a line: usually with up.
  • In bookbinding, to cover the inner sides of (a book-cover) with paper; support the back of the folded sections of a book with thin lawn or linen in the process of binding.
  • n. Flax.
  • n. Specifically, in technical use— Flax of the longer and fine staple, separated from the shorter by the hackle and prepared for spinning.
  • n. A hat-makers' pad or brush, now usually of padded velvet, for smoothing the nap of hats.
  • n. Cloth of flax; linen.
  • n. Linen apparel; apparel generally.
  • n. A thread, string, cord, or small rope of any kind, especially one designed for some particular use, as a fishing-line, measuring-line, clothes-line, a bowline, a hauling-line, etc.
  • n. Specifically— A cord used as a guide or marker in stonework or carpentry; a chalk-line or marking-line.
  • n. plural A lot or portion marked off by or as by a measuring-line; hence, fortune; condition.
  • n. plural The reins or thongs by which one guides a horse in driving.
  • n. Anything which resembles a thread or string in tenuity and extension.
  • n. Specifically—(a A thread-like mark, as one made with a pen, pencil, or graving-tool; a mark having length with little appreciable breadth; a stroke; a score.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English līne and from Old French ligne, both from Latin līnea, string, cord, from feminine of līneus, of linen, from līnum, thread, linen.
Middle English linen, from line, flax, linen cloth, from Old English līn, from Latin līnum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English line, lyne, from Old English līne ("line, cable, rope, hawser, series, row, rule, direction"), from Proto-Germanic *līnōn (“line, rope, flaxen cord, thread”), from Proto-Germanic *līnan (“flax, linen”), from Proto-Indo-European *līn- (“flax”). (Wiktionary)
Old English līn ("flax, linen, cloth"). For more information, see the entry "linen". (Wiktionary)
From Middle French ligner. (Wiktionary)

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  • in cycling, a line is the optimal path down a trail or roadway

    January 12, 2013

  • In the hospital, usu. means a central line, a kind of catheter placed into one of the main veins of the body draining into the heart. These are more complicated and hazardous to insert then a regular IV and are usually put in by physicians or nurse practitioners.

    January 26, 2008

  • Contronymic in the sense of the rectilinear align and bee-line vs. 'lining' which is curviform, enclosing, e.g., cup-shaped or spherical depending on the object or countainer lined. Also: line as in devious; a dissimulation.

    January 6, 2007