American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
- v. To mark, incise, or cover with a line or lines.
- v. To represent with lines.
- v. To place in a series or row.
- v. To form a bordering line along: Small stalls lined the alley.
- v. Baseball To hit (a ball) sharply so that it flies low and fast.
- 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.
- v. To fit a covering to the inside surface of: a coat lined with fur.
- v. To cover the inner surface of: Moisture lined the walls of the cave.
- v. To fill plentifully, as with money or food.
- idiom. line (one's) pockets To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- 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.
- n. In musical notation: One of the horizontal strokes or marks that constitute the staff. The usual staff consists of five such lines, that for Gregorian music of four, while larger numbers of lines have also been used. The lines are numbered from below upward. The lines and the spaces between them are collectively called degrees. The pitches to which the several degrees are assigned depend upon the clef and the signature placed at the head of the staff. When it is necessary temporarily to increase the compass of the staff above or below, added or leger lines are used, which are numbered up or down from the staff proper. See notation, staff, and leger.
- n. A short dash or stroke used in figured bass to indicate that a tone of a previous chord is to be continued without regard to its harmonic connection into a second chord. See figured bass, under bass.
- n. A wavy horizontal mark, preceded by the letters 8va, added above or below a passage to indicate that it is to be played an octave above or below the pitch at which it is written. The end of such a transposition is indicated by the word loco, ‘in place,’ or simply by the termination of the line.
- n. A wavy vertical mark to the left of the notes of a chord, to indicate that the chord is to be played arpeggio.
- n. A seam or furrow on the face or hands. Such seams in the hands are the basis of palmistry. See phrases below.
- n. In mathematics: The limit of a surface; a length without breadth. These definitions, cited as well known by Aristotle, may be more precisely expressed thus: a part or the whole of the intersection of two surfaces; a continuum of points extended in only one dimension at each point.
- n. In higher geom., a right line, ray, or axis; a curve of the first order. This use of the word is inaccurate but common, and can give rise to no inconvenience, since a line in sense is usually called a curve in higher geometry, except a broken line, which is not considered.
- n. Outline; contour; lineament; configuration: as, a ship of fine lines.
- n. A limit; division; boundary.
- n. A row; a continued series or rank: as, a line of trees or of buildings.
- n. A straight row of letters and words between two margins: as, a page of thirty lines.
- n. In poetry, a succession of feet (colon or period), consisting of words written or printed in one row; a verse. A line or verse is no definite prosodic group of feet, but may consist of a single colon or of two cola, the ordinary width of a page or column generally limiting its length. Short verses or cola are sometimes printed as single lines, or combined in pairs to constitute one line. The name line is sometimes extended to verses slightly exceeding the printed line in length, but marked by indention and want of Initial capital as one verse. In ancient prosody a line (versus,
στίχος) was conventionally determined to be a dicolic meter or period, or a monocolic period of eighteen or more moræ in magnitude. A shorter period was called a colon or a comma. Abbreviated l.
- n. Hence— plural Any piece of writing, as a letter, or an actor's part in the dialogue of a play; specifically, a short or occasional poem, or poetry in general.
- n. A short letter—one as it were consisting of only a line of writing; a note: as, I received a line from my friend.
- n. plural Same as marriage lines.
- v. transitive, of a dog to copulate with, to impregnate.
- 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. military 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. military 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. stock exchange A number of shares taken by a jobber.
- n. A measure of length:
- n. historical Alternative name for a maxwell, a unit of magnetic flux.
- n. baseball, slang, 1800s, 'the line' The batter’s box.
- n. fencing 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. transitive To place (objects) into a line (usually used with "up"); to form into a line; to align.
- v. transitive 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. transitive To mark with a line or lines, to cover with lines.
- v. transitive, obsolete To represent by lines; to delineate; to portray.
- v. transitive To read or repeat line by line.
- v. intransitive, 'line up' To form or enter into a line.
- v. intransitive, baseball To hit a line drive; to hit a line drive which is caught for an out. Compare fly and ground.
- n. obsolete Flax; linen, particularly the longer fiber of flax.
- v. transitive 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. transitive To fill or supply (something), as a purse with money.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete Flax; linen.
- n. The longer and finer fiber of flax.
- v. To cover the inner surface of
- v. To put something in the inside of; to fill; to supply, as a purse with money.
- v. To place persons or things along the side of for security or defense; to strengthen by adding anything; to fortify.
- v. To impregnate; -- applied to brute animals.
- 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. (Poet.) 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. (Math.) 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. 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. 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. (Mach.) 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. A row of men who are abreast of one another, whether side by side or some distance apart; -- opposed to
- n. The regular infantry of an army, as distinguished from militia, guards, volunteer corps, cavalry, artillery, etc.
- n. A trench or rampart.
- n. Dispositions made to cover extended positions, and presenting a front in but one direction to an enemy.
- n. (Shipbuilding) form of vessel as shown by the outlines of vertical, horizontal, and oblique sections.
- n. (Mus.) One of the straight horizontal and parallel prolonged strokes on and between which the notes are placed.
- n. (Stock Exchange) A number of shares taken by a jobber.
- n. (Trade) 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. United States The reins with which a horse is guided by his driver.
- n. A measure of length; one twelfth of an inch.
- v. To mark with a line or lines; to cover with lines.
- v. rare To represent by lines; to delineate; to portray.
- v. To read or repeat line by line.
- v. To form into a line; to align.
- Old English līn ("flax, linen, cloth"). For more information, see the entry "linen". (Wiktionary)
- 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)
“The senate, under reid, has drawn so many lines in the sand, it's beginning to look like a football field --- a new line every ten yards. harry is famous for saying things like, ���This is where we draw the line��� and when someone, anyone, challenges him, he runs and draws another line in the sand.”
“You have to tow the party line to get the nomination, even though that \'party line\ 'is so far out of the mainstream.”
“The crossing points are called nodal points, the closed sections between the nodal points a mesh and each part of the line mesh line.”
“_ -- In dealing with the action of travelling loads much assistance may be obtained by using a line termed an _influence line_.”
“Nations and to the Cherokees, that notwithstanding the former of these nations had ceded the property in the lands to his Majesty, yet no settlements shall be made beyond that line, it is our duty to report to your Lordships our opinion, that it would on that account be highly improper to comply with the request of the memorial, _so far as it includes any lands beyond the said line_.”
“In this diagram, the line standing for the _attribute complement_, like the _object line_, is a continuation of the predicate line; but notice the difference in the little mark separating the”
“This line is called the _blue line_ and care should be taken that it does not reach the zinc and cause a deposit of copper to be placed thereon.”
“A line composed of one wire and the earth is called a _grounded line_; a line composed of two wires not needing the earth as a conductor is called a _metallic circuit_.”
“If, for example, you went half way up the side of a hill and, starting there, walked entirely around the hill, neither going up any higher nor down any lower, and you drew a line of the route you had followed, this line would be a _contour line_ and its projection on a horizontal plane (map) would be a _contour_.”
“There, clearly marked, was a line of footprints, _a single line_, with no breaks or imperfections, the plain record on the rain-soaked earth that one person, evidently a man, had passed this way, _going out_.”
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