Definitions

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

  • n. A distinctive shape, contour, or line, especially of the face.
  • n. A definitive or characteristic feature. Often used in the plural: "the gross and subtle folds of corruption on the average senatorial face are hardly the lineaments of virtue” ( Norman Mailer).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any distinctive shape or line etc.
  • n. ​A distinctive feature that characterizes something, especially the parts of the face of an individual.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the outlines, exterior features, or distinctive marks, of a body or figure, particularly of the face; feature; form; mark; -- usually in the plural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A feature or detail of a body or figure considered as to its outlines or contour; linear formation of a part, as in the human face; hence, a particular physical feature or characteristic; sometimes, a distinguishing characteristic or quality in general: used chiefly in the plural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something
  • n. the characteristic parts of a person's face: eyes and nose and mouth and chin

Etymologies

Middle English liniament, from Latin līneāmentum, from līnea, line; see line1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin lineamentum, from linea (line): compare French linéament. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "lineament," and fetid conspiracies for inclusive ordinations and orientations.

    Second Terrace

  • The bulky sage arose from his seat, and, approaching the young soldier, fixed on him his keen large dark eyes as if he were in the act of internally spelling and dissecting every lineament and feature.

    Quentin Durward

  • Could they be identified as the same being? or, while strictly alike in shape and lineament, was the one a tenant of the earth, the other only a phantom, permitted to show itself among those of a nature in which she did not partake?

    Anne of Geierstein

  • I missed it's lineament, and missed the very large No. of friends, neighbors and relatives who either left abroad or dead.

    Iraq: They Call This Freedom

  • When we stood still, he got opposite to him, and drawing his hand across and across his open mouth with a curious expression of a sense of power, and turning up his eyes, and lowering his grey eyebrows until they appeared to be shut, seemed to scan every lineament of his face.

    Bleak House

  • While the waters of Venice and the ruins of Rome were sunning themselves for the pleasure of the Dorrit family, and were daily being sketched out of all earthly proportion, lineament, and likeness, by travelling pencils innumerable, the firm of Doyce and Clennam hammered away in Bleeding Heart Yard, and the vigorous clink of iron upon iron was heard there through the working hours.

    Little Dorrit

  • The light of the fire was upon it, and its every lineament was revealed distinctly.

    Barnaby Rudge

  • There could be no doubt about the features of either; he recollected the exact expression they had worn at different passages of their conversation, and recognised in every line and lineament the Giants of the night.

    Master Humphrey's Clock

  • ‘CAN you?’ he said again; and every lineament of his expressive countenance added the words ‘resist me?’

    Master Humphrey's Clock

  • He was seated on the ice, making spasmodic efforts to smile; but anguish was depicted on every lineament of his countenance.

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

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Comments

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  • Should her lineaments resemble
    Those thou never more may'st see,
    Then thy heart will softly tremble
    With a pulse yet true to me.

    - Lord Byron, 'Fare Thee Well'.

    September 30, 2009

  • "Crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud, and threatening to fall into it--as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations; every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage; all these ornament the banks of Folly Ditch."
    - Charles Dickens, 'Oliver Twist'.

    August 2, 2009