Line definition

līn
(mathematics) A geometric figure formed by a point moving along a fixed direction and the reverse direction.
noun
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An electric-power transmission cable.
noun
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To mark, incise, or cover with a line or lines.
verb
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A geometric figure formed by a point moving in a fixed direction and in the reverse direction. The intersection of two planes is a line. &diamf3; The part of a line that lies between two points on the line is called a line segment.
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Outline; contour; lineament.

Built along modern lines.

noun
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To fill plentifully, as with money or food.
verb
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To be used as a lining in.

Cloth lined the trunk.

verb
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To represent with lines.
verb
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(informal) The odds a bookmaker gives, especially for sports events.
noun
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The proportion of an insurance risk assumed by a particular underwriter or company.
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A fishing line.
noun
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A pipe or system of pipes for conveying a fluid.

Gas lines.

noun
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(games) A horizontal demarcation on a scorecard in bridge dividing the honor score from the trick score.
noun
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(baseball) To hit (a ball) sharply so that it flies low and fast.
verb
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To hit a line drive.

Lined out to shortstop.

verb
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The definition of a line is a mark connecting two points, something stretched between two things, or two or more people standing in a row.

An example of a line is a horizontal mark drawn on a piece of paper.

An example of a line is caution tape marking off the scene of an accident.

An example of a line is fishing wire.

An example of a line is five people standing single file waiting to purchase movie tickets.

noun
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Merchandise or services of a similar or related nature.

Carries a complete line of small tools.

noun
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A group of persons or things arranged in a row or series.

Long lines at the box office; a line of stones.

noun
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A horizontal row of printed or written words or symbols.
noun
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One of the horizontal scans forming a television image.
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A brief letter; a note.

I'll drop you a line.

noun
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(informal) Glib or insincere talk, usually intended to deceive or impress.

He kept on handing me a line about how busy he is.

noun
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(slang) An amount of powdered cocaine arranged in a thin, long strip for snorting.
noun
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A thin continuous mark, as that made by a pen, pencil, or brush applied to a surface.
noun
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A similar mark cut or scratched into a surface.
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A crease in the skin, especially on the face; a wrinkle.
noun
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A real or imaginary mark positioned in relation to fixed points of reference.
noun
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A degree or circle of longitude or latitude drawn on a map or globe.
noun
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The equator. Used with the.
noun
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A border or boundary.

The county line.

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A demarcation.

A line of darker water beyond the reef.

noun
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A contour or an outline.

The line of the hills against the evening sky.

noun
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A mark used to define a shape or represent a contour.
noun
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Any of the marks that make up the formal design of a picture.
noun
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A cable, rope, string, cord, or wire.
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A clothesline.
noun
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A cord or tape used, as by builders or surveyors, for measuring, leveling, or straightening.
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A wire or system of wires connecting telephone or telegraph systems.
noun
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An open or functioning telephone connection.

Tried to get a free line.

noun
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A passenger or cargo system of public or private transportation, as by ship, aircraft, or bus, usually over a definite route.
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A company owning or managing such a system.
noun
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A railway track or system of tracks.
noun
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A particular section of a railway network.

The Philadelphia–Trenton line.

noun
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A general method, manner, or course of procedure.

Different lines of thought; took a hard line on defense.

noun
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A manner or course of procedure determined by a specified factor.

Development along socialist lines.

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An official or prescribed policy.

The party line.

noun
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The condition of being in proper or aligned position.

Is the table in line with the sofa?

noun
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A condition of agreement or correspondence.

Your attitude is in line with mine. Is the policy in line with reality?

noun
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One's trade, occupation, or field of interest.

What line of work are you in?

noun
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Range of competence.

Not in my line.

noun
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Ancestry or lineage.
noun
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A series of persons, especially from one family, who succeed each other.

A line of monarchs; comes from a long line of bankers.

noun
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A strain, as of livestock or plants, developed and maintained by selective breeding.
noun
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A sequence of related things that leads to a certain ending.

A line of argument.

noun
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An ordered system of operations that allows a sequential manufacture or assembly of goods at all or various stages of production.
noun
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The personnel of an organization or a business who actually make a product or perform a service.
noun
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A unit of verse ending in a visual or typographic break and generally characterized by its length and meter.

A line of iambic pentameter.

noun
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A unit of uninterrupted text spoken by an actor in a theatrical presentation.

Spent the weekend learning her lines.

noun
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A marriage certificate.
noun
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A usually specified number of lines of prose or verse to be written out by a pupil as punishment.
noun
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A source of information.
noun
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The information itself.

Got a line on the computer project.

noun
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(music) One of the five parallel marks constituting a staff.
noun
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A sustained melodic or harmonic part in a piece.

Strained to hear the tenor line.

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A formation in which elements, such as troops, tanks, or ships, are arranged abreast of one another.
noun
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The battle area closest to the enemy; the front.
noun
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The combat troops or warships at the front, arrayed for defense or offense.
noun
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The regular forces of an army or a navy, in contrast to staff and support personnel.
noun
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The class of officers in direct command of warships or of army combat units.
noun
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A bulwark or trench.
noun
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An extended system of such fortifications or defenses.

The Siegfried line.

noun
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A foul line.
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A real or imaginary mark demarcating a specified section of a playing area or field.
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A real or imaginary mark or point at which a race begins or ends.
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The center and two wings making up a hockey team's offensive unit.
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(football) A line of scrimmage.
noun
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(football) The linemen considered as a group.
noun
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(geog.) An imaginary circle of the earth or of the celestial sphere, as the equator or the equinoctial circle.
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(hockey) The two wings and the center playing together.
noun
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(math.) A continuous series of points, or the path of a moving point, thought of as having length but not breadth, specif., such a series or path when perfectly straight.
noun
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(music) Any of the long parallel marks forming the staff.
noun
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(tv) A scanning line.
noun
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A cord, rope, wire, string, or the like.
noun
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A long, fine, strong cord with a hook, sinker, leader, etc., used in fishing.
noun
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A clothesline.
noun
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A cord, steel tape, etc. used in measuring or leveling.
noun
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A rope, hawser, or cable used on a ship.
noun
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A rein.
noun
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A wire or wires connecting a telephone or telegraph system.
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A system of such wires.
noun
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Effective contact between telephones.
noun
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A telephone extension.

Call me on line 9

noun
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A transportation system or service consisting of regular trips by buses, ships, etc. between two or more points.
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A company operating such a system.
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One branch or division of such a system.

The main line of a railroad.

noun
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A single track of a railroad.
noun
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A course of conduct, action, explanation, etc.

The line of an argument, taking a hard line with juvenile delinquents.

noun
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A course of movement.
noun
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All the dialogue in a play, film, etc.; esp., the dialogue of any single character.
noun
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Any bit of dialogue in a play, film, etc.
noun
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The players arranged in a row on either side of the line of scrimmage at the start of each play.
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A formation of ships, troops, etc. in which elements are abreast of each other.
noun
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The area or position in closest contact with the enemy during combat.
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The troops in this area.
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The officers in immediate command of fighting ships or combat troops.
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The combatant branches of the army as distinguished from the supporting branches and the staff.
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A station line refers to the circuit between a private branch exchange (PBX) switch and a station user's terminal equipment, which usually is in the form of telephone, although it could be a computer workstation, a printer, a facsimile machine, or some other device.
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In rate and tariff terminology, line refers to a local loop connection from the telephone company central office (CO) switch to the user premises in support of customer premises equipment (CPE) other than a switch. Such CPE can be in the form of a single-line residence or business set, a multiline set, or the common control unit of a key telephone system (KTS). Such a line is single-channel in nature, i.e., supports a single conversation and is voice grade, i.e., provides enough bandwidth to support a voice conversation, and has a single associated telephone number. A line may be thought of as a tributary of a trunk. See also line side, trunk, and trunk side.
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A path through two or more points (compare "˜segment'); a continuous mark, including as made by a pen; any path, curved or straight.

The arrow descended in a curved line.

noun
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A rope, cord, string, or thread, of any thickness.
  • (firefighting) A hose.
noun
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The line of sight or the line of vision.

noun
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The wire connecting one telegraphic station with another, a telephone or internet cable between two points: a telephone or network connection.

I tried to make a call, but the line was dead.

A dedicated line.

A shared line.

Please speak up, the line is very faint.

noun
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A letter, a written form of communication.

Drop me a line.

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A connected series of public conveyances, as a roadbed or railway track; and hence, an established arrangement for forwarding merchandise, etc.

A line of stages.

An express line.

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(military) A trench or rampart, or the non-physical demarcation of the extent of the territory occupied by specified forces.
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The exterior limit of a figure or territory: a boundary, contour, or outline; a demarcation.
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A long tape or ribbon marked with units for measuring; a tape measure.
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That which was measured by a line, such as a field or any piece of land set apart; hence, allotted place of abode.
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A threadlike crease or wrinkle marking the face, hand, or body; hence, a characteristic mark.
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Lineament; feature; figure (of one's body).
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A more-or-less straight sequence of people, objects, etc., either arranged as a queue or column and often waiting to be processed or dealt with, or arranged abreast of one another in a row (contrasted with a column), as in a military formation. [from mid-16th c.]

The line forms on the right.

There is a line of houses.

noun
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(military) The regular infantry of an army, as distinguished from militia, guards, volunteer corps, cavalry, artillery, etc.
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A series or succession of ancestors or descendants of a given person; a family or race; compare lineage.
noun
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A small amount of text. Specifically:
  • A written or printed row of letters, words, numbers, or other text, especially a row of words extending across a page or column, or a blank in place of such text.
    The answer to the comprehension question can be found in the third line of the accompanying text.
  • A verse (in poetry).
  • A sentence of dialogue, especially [from the later 19th c.] in a play, movie, or the like.
    He was perfecting his pickup lines for use at the bar.
    "It is what it is" was one his more annoying lines.
  • A lie or exaggeration, especially one told to gain another's approval or prevent losing it.
    Don't feed me a line!.
noun
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Course of conduct, thought, occupation, or policy; method of argument; department of industry, trade, or intellectual activity. [from earlier 17th c.]
noun
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The official, stated position (set of positions) of an individual or group, particularly a political or religious faction. [from later 19th c.]

Remember, your answers must match the party line.

noun
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The products or services sold by a business, or by extension, the business itself. [from earlier 19th c.]

Line of business, product line.

How many buses does the line have?

The airline is in danger of bankruptcy.

noun
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(stock exchange) A number of shares taken by a jobber.
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A measure of length:
noun
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(historical) Alternative name for a maxwell, a unit of magnetic flux.
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(baseball, slang, 1800s, "˜the line') The batter's box.
noun
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(fencing, "˜line of engagement') The position in which the fencers hold their swords.
noun
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Proper relative position or adjustment (of parts, not as to design or proportion, but with reference to smooth working).

The engine is in line / out of line.

noun
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A small portion or serving (of a powdery illegal drug).
noun
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(engineering) The proper relative position or adjustment of parts, not as to design or proportion, but with reference to smooth working.

The engine is in line or out of line.

noun
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To place (objects) into a line (usually used with "up"); to form into a line; to align.

To line troops.

verb
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To place persons or things along the side of for security or defense; to strengthen by adding; to fortify.

To line works with soldiers.

verb
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To form a line along.
verb
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To mark with a line or lines, to cover with lines.

To line a copy book.

verb
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To read or repeat line by line.

To line out a hymn.

verb
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(intransitive, "˜line up') To form or enter into a line.
verb
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(intransitive, baseball) To hit a line drive; to hit a line drive which is caught for an out. Compare fly and ground.
verb
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(obsolete) Flax; linen, particularly the longer fiber of flax.
noun
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To cover the inner surface of (something), originally especially with linen.

The bird lines its nest with soft grass.

To line a cloak with silk or fur.

To line a box with paper or tin.

Paintings lined the walls of the cavernous dining room.

verb
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To reinforce (the back of a book) with glue and glued scrap material such as fabric or paper.
verb
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To fill or supply (something), as a purse with money.

To line the shelves.

verb
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(now rare, of a dog) To copulate with, to impregnate.
verb
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To place in a series or row.
verb
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To form a bordering line along.

Small stalls lined the alley.

verb
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To cover the inner surface of.

Moisture lined the walls of the cave.

verb
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(nautical) A rope used aboard a ship.
noun
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A mark made on the ground in certain sports.
  • Any of the straight, narrow marks dividing or bounding a football field, tennis court, etc.
    sideline.
  • A mark indicating a starting point, a limit not to be crossed, or a point which must be reached or passed.
    A remark that crosses the line of good taste.
noun
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A border or boundary.

The state line.

noun
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A division between conditions, qualities, classes, etc.; limit; demarcation.
noun
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(archaic) Lot in life; one's fate.
noun
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A plan of construction; plan of making or doing.
noun
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A row or series of persons or things of a particular kind.
  • A row of written or printed characters extending across or part way across a page.
  • A single row of words or characters making up a unit of poetry, often of a specified number of feet.
  • A row of persons waiting in turn to buy something, enter a theater, etc.; queue.
  • An or a similar arrangement for the packing, shipping, etc. of merchandise.
noun
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A connected series of persons or things following each other in time or place; succession.

A line of Democratic presidents.

noun
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noun
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The descendants of a common ancestor or of a particular breed.
noun
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The course or direction anything moving takes; path.

The line of fire.

noun
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A person's trade or occupation.

What's his line?

noun
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A stock of goods of a particular type, often with reference to quality, quantity, variety, etc.
noun
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The field of one's special knowledge, interest, or ability.
noun
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The odds given by a bookmaker on the contestants in a race, game, etc.
noun
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1
(informal) A short letter, note, or card.

Drop me a line.

noun
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1
(informal) A source or piece of information.

A line on a bargain.

noun
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(informal) Persuasive or flattering talk that is insincere.
noun
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1
(slang) A small quantity of cocaine sniffed at one time.
noun
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1
(brit.) A stock, supply, display, etc., as of literary or artistic qualities, methods, or techniques.

A nice line in irony.

noun
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1
(chiefly brit.) A marriage certificate.
noun
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1
(basketball, short for) Free throw line.
noun
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(bridge) The horizontal line on a score sheet below which are recorded points that count toward a game and above which, all other points.
noun
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1
To mark with lines.
verb
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To draw or trace with or as with lines.
verb
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To bring or cause to come into a straight row or into conformity; bring into alignment.
verb
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To form a line along.

Elms line the streets.

verb
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To place objects along the edge of.

Line the walk with flowers.

verb
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1
(baseball) To hit (a pitched ball) in a line drive.
verb
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1
To form a line.
verb
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1
(baseball) To hit a line drive.
verb
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1
Of or having to do with the managing of departments, operations, etc. which are involved directly in producing income, as in production or sales as distinguished from those involved in routine internal functions.
adjective
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To fill; stuff.
verb
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1
A course of progress or movement; a route.

A line of flight.

noun
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2
A general concept or model.

A trilogy along the lines of the Oresteia.

noun
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2
To fit a covering to the inside surface of.

A coat lined with fur.

verb
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2
Any wire, pipe, system of pipes or wires, etc. for conducting water, gas, electricity, etc.
noun
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2
A very thin, threadlike mark.
  • A long, thin mark made by a pencil, pen, chalk, etc.
  • A similar mark cut in a hard surface, as by engraving.
  • A thin crease in the palm or on the face.
noun
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2
To put a layer or lining of a different material on the inside of.
verb
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2
all along the line
  • In every place.
  • At every stage or moment.
idiom
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down the line
  • All the way; throughout:
    Errors are to be found down the line.
  • At a point or an end in the future.
idiom
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1
in line for
  • Next in order for:
    In line for the presidency.
idiom
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1
on the line
  • Ready or available for immediate payment.
  • So as to be risked; in jeopardy:
idiom
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1
out of line
  • Uncalled-for; improper.
  • Unruly and out of control.
idiom
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1
line (one's) pockets
  • To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.
idiom
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1
all along the line
  • everywhere
  • at every turn of events
idiom
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1
bring (or come or get) into line
  • to bring (or come) into a straight row or into conformity; bring (or come) into alignment
idiom
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1
down the line
  • completely; entirely
idiom
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1
draw the line
  • to set a limit
idiom
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0
get a line on
  • to find out about
idiom
0
1
hard lines
  • misfortune; bad luck
idiom
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1
hit the line
  • to try to carry the ball through the opposing line
  • to try boldly or firmly to do something
idiom
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1
hold the line
  • to stand firm; not permit a breakthrough or retreat
idiom
0
1
in line
  • in a straight row; in alignment
  • in agreement or conformity
  • behaving properly or as required
  • in a row or in some other sequence, awaiting a turn as to be served or to be allowed to proceed
idiom
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1
in line for
  • being considered for
    in line for a promotion.
idiom
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1
in the line of duty
  • in or during the performance of authorized or prescribed duty, esp. military duty
idiom
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1
lay it on the line
  • to put up or pay money; pay up
  • to speak frankly and in detail
  • to stake (one's reputation, etc.) on something
idiom
0
1
line out
  • to be put out by hitting a line drive that is caught by a fielder
  • to sing or utter forcefully, loudly, or emphatically
    To line out a song.
idiom
0
1
line up
  • to form a line
  • to bring into a line
  • to organize effectively, secure a pledge of support from, etc.
  • to take a position (against a competitor or rival)
idiom
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1
on a line
  • in the same plane; level
idiom
0
1
on line
  • in or into active use or production
    The new plant came on line this year.
idiom
0
1
on the line
  • at great risk
  • at a critical juncture, as between success and failure or life and death
idiom
0
1
out of line
  • not in a straight line; not in alignment
  • not in agreement or conformity
  • impertinent, insubordinate, etc.
idiom
0
1
read between the lines
  • to discover a hidden meaning or purpose in something written, said, or done
idiom
0
1
the end of the line
  • the point beyond which there can be no further progress; finish; conclusion
idiom
0
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
line
Plural:
lines

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

all along the line
in line for
all along the line
bring (<i>or</i> come <i>or</i> get) into line
hit the line
in line for
lay it on the line
on a line
the end of the line

Origin of line

  • 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 lī̆no- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English linen from line flax, linen cloth from Old English līn from Latin līnum lī̆no- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English line, lyne, from Old English lÄ«ne (“line, cable, rope, hawser, series, row, rule, direction"), from Proto-Germanic *lÄ«nÇ­ (“line, rope, flaxen cord, thread"), from Proto-Germanic *lÄ«nÄ… (“flax, linen"), from Proto-Indo-European *lÄ«n- (“flax").

    From Wiktionary

  • Influenced in Middle English by Middle French ligne (“line"), from Latin linea. More at linen.

    From Wiktionary

  • The oldest sense of the word is "rope, cord, thread"; from this the senses "path", "continuous mark" were derived.

    From Wiktionary

  • Old English lÄ«n (“flax, linen, cloth"). For more information, see the entry "linen".

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle French ligner.

    From Wiktionary