from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To fit a covering to the inside surface of.
  • transitive verb To cover the inner surface of.
  • transitive verb To fill plentifully, as with money or food.
  • idiom (line (one's) pockets) To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.
  • noun Mathematics A geometric figure formed by a point moving along a fixed direction and the reverse direction.
  • noun A thin continuous mark, as that made by a pen, pencil, or brush applied to a surface.
  • noun A similar mark cut or scratched into a surface.
  • noun A crease in the skin, especially on the face; a wrinkle.
  • noun A real or imaginary mark positioned in relation to fixed points of reference.
  • noun A degree or circle of longitude or latitude drawn on a map or globe.
  • noun The equator. Used with the.
  • noun A border or boundary.
  • noun A demarcation.
  • noun A contour or an outline.
  • noun A mark used to define a shape or represent a contour.
  • noun Any of the marks that make up the formal design of a picture.
  • noun A cable, rope, string, cord, or wire.
  • noun Nautical A rope used aboard a ship.
  • noun A fishing line.
  • noun A clothesline.
  • noun A cord or tape used, as by builders or surveyors, for measuring, leveling, or straightening.
  • noun A pipe or system of pipes for conveying a fluid.
  • noun An electric-power transmission cable.
  • noun A wire or system of wires connecting telephone or telegraph systems.
  • noun An open or functioning telephone connection.
  • noun A passenger or cargo system of public or private transportation, as by ship, aircraft, or bus, usually over a definite route.
  • noun A company owning or managing such a system.
  • noun A railway track or system of tracks.
  • noun A particular section of a railway network.
  • noun A course of progress or movement; a route.
  • noun A general method, manner, or course of procedure.
  • noun A manner or course of procedure determined by a specified factor.
  • noun An official or prescribed policy.
  • noun A general concept or model.
  • noun The condition of being in proper or aligned position.
  • noun A condition of agreement or correspondence.
  • noun One's trade, occupation, or field of interest.
  • noun Range of competence.
  • noun Merchandise or services of a similar or related nature.


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

[Middle English linen, from line, flax, linen cloth, from Old English līn, from Latin līnum; see lĭ̄no- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[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; see lĭ̄no- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French ligner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English līn ("flax, linen, cloth"). For more information, see the entry "linen".

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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”).


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word line.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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

  • 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

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

    January 12, 2013