from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the United States, the social or political line of demarkation between the white or dominant class and persons of pure or mixed African descent.
  • n. plural In seal-engraving, and in heraldic work in black and white, fine parallel lines engraved upon the field for the conventional expression of heraldic colors.
  • n. In psychophysics: The outline of the plane figure (circle, square, triangle) which gives a diagrammatic representation of color sensations and their interrelation.
  • n. Any straight line joining two points on or within the solid figure (sphere, double cone, double pyramid) which gives a diagrammatic representation of the totality of visual sensations.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • However, she later admitted (Ebony, May 1980) that she really married Hayton to advance her career and cross the “color-line” in show business.

    Lena Horne Passes «

  • If the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color-line, Du Bois, like the French political theorist Charles Fourier, seemed on the verge of arguing that the greater cause of human misery is due to the primordial theft of property that gave rise to private enterprise and the market economy.


  • Isn't that the very behavior that creates the majority of the color-line problems?

    The Death Of Innocence?

  • More alarming was the way Tolson's involvement with southern tenant farmers was employed in the film to elevate his--and by extension Washington's--race man status, providing little detail to how deadly and under-appreciated labor and farmer organizing was in the South, particularly when such organizing aimed to bring together farmers and workers across the color-line.

    Interesting Review of The Great Debaters

  • Such an essentially honest-hearted and generous people cannot cite the caste-leveling precepts of Christianity, or believe in equality of opportunity for all men, without coming to feel more and more with each generation that the present drawing of the color-line is a flat contradiction to their beliefs and professions.

    The South in Black and White

  • Wherever the discussion began it promptly shaded off toward the color-line and insult.

    Mark Twain: A Biography

  • Stokely Carmichael called for a pure color-line division, blacks of all classes united against all whites.


  • It was a color-line, not a wire, but with magic it could perform the same function.

    Split Infinity

  • As all the parties in this transaction were white, it is not at all probable that the color-line question had anything to do with it.

    The American Missionary — Volume 42, No. 07, July, 1888

  • We regret that the color-line is rigidly drawn in some parts of the

    The American Missionary — Volume 42, No. 07, July, 1888


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