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

  • n. An arrangement of workers, machines, and equipment in which the product being assembled passes consecutively from operation to operation until completed. Also called production line.
  • n. A process in which finished products are turned out in a mechanically efficient, though impersonal, manner: a university that functions as a sports assembly line.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A system of workers and machinery in which a product is assembled in a series of consecutive operations; typically the product is attached to a continuously moving belt

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A line of machinery, tools, and workers on which objects to be manufactured are moved from one post to the next, where different workers perform different steps in the manufacturing process; called also production line. The objects to be manufactured usually move on a form of conveyor belt, which does not necessarily move only in a straight line, but may continue around the factory area for some distance.

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

  • n. mechanical system in a factory whereby an article is conveyed through sites at which successive operations are performed on it


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • She managed to get hold of one of the very first Ford four-door sedans to come off the assembly line for civilians in 1945, but the prospect of her driving his two young sons all the way from Key West to fish in Wyoming, Yellowstone Park, Washington State, and then down the Pacific coast to her sister Jinny’s home in Hollywood, frightened Papa.

    Hemingway on Hunting

  • Indeed, it was not until the financial crisis of 1980, sixty-seven years after the introduction of the powered assembly line at Highland Park, that Rover formerly British Leyland, the successor to the merged Austin and Morris companies, finally adopted standard hourly rates and explicitly set out to match the productivity of the Americans.

    The Machine That Changed the World

  • Ford’s theories of mass production have been so influential that they are widely referred to as Fordism, but what many people don’t realize is that the assembly line piece of it is only half of the story.


  • The war interrupted production, and a hand-powered assembly line was not in place until 1919.

    The Machine That Changed the World

  • He meant by this term that he had not only perfected the continuous-flow final assembly line but had also arranged in a tight process sequence the many types of metalworking machines needed to fabricate the components going into the Model T.

    The Machine That Changed the World

  • It's the spirit that led my grandmother to her own assembly line during World War II, and my grandfather to march in Patton's Army.

    Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Keeping America's Promise


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