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line Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a formation of people or things one beside another
    • the line of soldiers advanced with their bayonets fixed
    • they were arrayed in line of battle
    • the cast stood in line for the curtain call
  2. noun a mark that is long relative to its width
    • He drew a line on the chart
  3. noun a formation of people or things one behind another
    • the line stretched clear around the corner
    • you must wait in a long line at the checkout counter
  4. noun a length (straight or curved) without breadth or thickness; the trace of a moving point
  5. noun text consisting of a row of words written across a page or computer screen
    • the letter consisted of three short lines
    • there are six lines in every stanza
  6. noun a single frequency (or very narrow band) of radiation in a spectrum
  7. noun a fortified position (especially one marking the most forward position of troops)
    • they attacked the enemy's line
  8. noun a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning
    argumentation; argument; line of reasoning; logical argument.
    • I can't follow your line of reasoning
  9. noun a conductor for transmitting electrical or optical signals or electric power
    transmission line; cable.
  10. noun a connected series of events or actions or developments
    • the government took a firm course
    • historians can only point out those lines for which evidence is available
  11. noun a spatial location defined by a real or imaginary unidimensional extent
  12. noun a slight depression in the smoothness of a surface
    crease; seam; crinkle; wrinkle; furrow.
    • his face has many lines
    • ironing gets rid of most wrinkles
  13. noun a pipe used to transport liquids or gases
    • a pipeline runs from the wells to the seaport
  14. noun the road consisting of railroad track and roadbed
    rail line; railway line.
  15. noun a telephone connection
    telephone circuit; phone line; subscriber line; telephone line.
  16. noun acting in conformity
    • in line with
    • he got out of line
    • toe the line
  17. noun the descendants of one individual
    lineage; pedigree; parentage; descent; bloodline; ancestry; stemma; blood; stock; line of descent; origin; blood line.
    • his entire lineage has been warriors
  18. noun something (as a cord or rope) that is long and thin and flexible
    • a washing line
  19. noun the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money
    job; line of work; business; occupation.
    • he's not in my line of business
  20. noun in games or sports; a mark indicating positions or bounds of the playing area
  21. noun (often plural) a means of communication or access
    communication channel; channel.
    • it must go through official channels
    • lines of communication were set up between the two firms
  22. noun a particular kind of product or merchandise
    line of merchandise; product line; line of products; line of business; business line.
    • a nice line of shoes
  23. noun a commercial organization serving as a common carrier
  24. noun space for one line of print (one column wide and 1/14 inch deep) used to measure advertising
    agate line.
  25. noun the maximum credit that a customer is allowed
    credit line; personal credit line; personal line of credit; line of credit; bank line.
  26. noun a succession of notes forming a distinctive sequence
    melodic phrase; air; melodic line; strain; melody; tune.
    • she was humming an air from Beethoven
  27. noun persuasive but insincere talk that is usually intended to deceive or impress
    • `let me show you my etchings' is a rather worn line
    • he has a smooth line but I didn't fall for it
    • that salesman must have practiced his fast line of talk
  28. noun a short personal letter
    note; billet; short letter.
    • drop me a line when you get there
  29. noun a conceptual separation or distinction
    dividing line; demarcation; contrast.
    • there is a narrow line between sanity and insanity
  30. noun mechanical system in a factory whereby an article is conveyed through sites at which successive operations are performed on it
    assembly line; production line.
  31. verb be in line with; form a line along
    run along.
    • trees line the riverbank
  32. verb cover the interior of
    • line the gloves
    • line a chimney
  33. verb make a mark or lines on a surface
    delineate; draw; describe; trace.
    • draw a line
    • trace the outline of a figure in the sand
  34. verb mark with lines
    • sorrow had lined his face
  35. verb fill plentifully
    • line one's pockets
  36. verb reinforce with fabric
    • lined books are more enduring

Line noun
OE. lin. See Linen.
  1. Flax; linen. Obs. "Garments made of line." Spenser.
  2. The longer and fiber of flax.
Line transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Lined ; present participle & verbal noun Lining
  1. To cover the inner surface of; as, to line a cloak with silk or fur; to line a box with paper or tin.
    The inside lined with rich carnation silk. W. Browne.
  2. To put something in the inside of; to fill; to supply, as a purse with money.
    The charge amounteth very high for any one man's purse, except lined beyond ordinary, to reach unto. Carew.
    Till coffee has her stomach lined. Swift.
  3. To place persons or things along the side of for security or defense; to strengthen by adding; to fortify; as, to line works with soldiers.
    Line and new repair our towns of war With men of courage and with means defendant. Shak.
  4. To impregnate; -- applied to brute animals. Creech.
Line noun
OE. line, AS. line cable, hawser, prob. from L. linea a linen thread, string, line, fr. linum flax, thread, linen, cable; but the English word was influenced by F. ligne line, from the same L. word linea. See Linen.
  1. linen thread or string; a slender, strong cord; also, a cord of any thickness; a rope; a hawser; as, a fishing line; a line for snaring birds; a clothesline; a towline.
    Who so layeth lines for to latch fowls. Piers Plowman.
  2. A more or less threadlike mark of pen, pencil, or graver; any long mark; as, a chalk line.
  3. The course followed by anything in motion; hence, a road or route; as, the arrow descended in a curved line; the place is remote from lines of travel.
  4. Direction; as, the line sight or vision.
  5. A row of letters, words, etc., written or printed; esp., a row of words extending across a page or column.
  6. A short letter; a note; as, a line from a friend.
  7. (Poet.) A verse, or the words which form a certain number of feet, according to the measure.
    In the preceding line Ulysses speaks of Nausicaa. Broome.
  8. Course of conduct, thought, occupation, or policy; method of argument; department of industry, trade, or intellectual activity.
    He is uncommonly powerful in his own line, but it is not the line of a first-rate man. Coleridge.
  9. (Math.) That which has length, but not breadth or thickness.
  10. The exterior limit of a figure, plat, or territory; boundary; contour; outline.
    Eden stretched her line From Auran eastward to the royal towers Of great Seleucia. Milton.
  11. A threadlike crease marking the face or the hand; hence, characteristic mark.
    Though on his brow were graven lines austere. Byron.
    He tipples palmistry, and dines On all her fortune-telling lines. Cleveland.
  12. Lineament; feature; figure. "The lines of my boy's face." Shak.
  13. A straight row; a continued series or rank; as, a line of houses, or of soldiers; a line of barriers.
    Unite thy forces and attack their lines. Dryden.
  14. A series or succession of ancestors or descand ants of a given person; a family or race; as, the ascending or descending line; the line of descent; the male line; a line of kings.
    Of his lineage am I, and his offspring By very line, as of the stock real. Chaucer.
  15. A connected series of public conveyances, and hence, an established arrangement for forwarding merchandise, etc. ; as, a line of stages; an express line.
  16. (Geog.) (a) A circle of latitude or of longitude, as represented on a map. (b) The equator; -- usually called the line, or equinoctial line; as, to cross the line.
  17. A long tape, or a narrow ribbon of steel, etc., marked with subdivisions, as feet and inches, for measuring; a tapeline.
  18. (Script.) (a) A measuring line or cord.
    He marketh it out with a line. Is. xliv. 13.
    (b) That which was measured by a line, as a field or any piece of land set apart; hence, allotted place of abode.
    The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yes. I have a goodly heritage. Ps. xvi. 6.
    (c) Instruction; doctrine.
    Their line is gone out through all the earth. Ps. xix. 4.
  19. (Mach.) The proper relative position or adjustment of parts, not as to design or proportion, but with reference to smooth working; as, the engine is in line or out of line or out of line.
  20. The track and roadbed of a railway; railroad.
  21. (Mil.) (a) A row of men who are abreast of one another, whether side by side or some distance apart; -- opposed to column. (b) The regular infantry of an army, as distinguished from militia, guards, volunteer corps, cavalry, artillery, etc.
  22. (Fort.) (a) A trench or rampart. (b) pl. Dispositions made to cover extended positions, and presenting a front in but one direction to an enemy.
  23. pl. (Shipbuilding) form of a vessel as shown by the outlines of vertical, horizontal, and obique sections.
  24. (Mus.) One of the straight horizontal and parallel prolonged strokes on and between which the notes are placed.
  25. (Stock Exchange) A number of shares taken by a jobber.
  26. (Trade) A series of various qualities and values of the same general class of articles; as, a full line of hosiery; a line of merinos, etc. McElrath.
  27. The wire connecting one telegraphic station with another, or the whole of a system of telegraph wires under one management and name.
  28. pl. The reins with which a horse is guided by his driver. U. S.
  29. A measure of length; one twelfth of an inch.
Line transitive verb
  1. To mark with a line or lines; to cover with lines; as, to line a copy book.
    He had a healthy color in his cheeks, and his face, though lined, bore few traces of anxiety. Dickens.
  2. To represent by lines; to delineate; to portray. R. "Pictures fairest lined." Shak.
  3. To read or repeat line by line; as, to line out a hymn.
    This custom of reading or lining, or, as it was frequently called "deaconing' the hymn or psalm in the churches, was brought about partly from necessity. N. D. Gould.
  4. To form into a line; to align; as, to line troops.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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Writing Improvement Software