n) KEY NOUN:
- Mathematics A geometric figure formed by a point moving along a fixed direction and the reverse direction.
- A thin continuous mark, as that made by a pen, pencil, or brush applied to a surface.
- A similar mark cut or scratched into a surface.
- A crease in the skin, especially on the face; a wrinkle.
- A real or imaginary mark positioned in relation to fixed points of reference.
- A degree or circle of longitude or latitude drawn on a map or globe.
- The equator. Used with the.
- A border or boundary: the county line.
- A demarcation: a line of darker water beyond the reef.
- A contour or an outline: the line of the hills against the evening sky.
- A mark used to define a shape or represent a contour.
- Any of the marks that make up the formal design of a picture.
- A cable, rope, string, cord, or wire.
- Nautical A rope used aboard a ship.
- A fishing line.
- A clothesline.
- A cord or tape used, as by builders or surveyors, for measuring, leveling, or straightening.
- A pipe or system of pipes for conveying a fluid: gas lines.
- An electric-power transmission cable.
- A wire or system of wires connecting telephone or telegraph systems.
- An open or functioning telephone connection: tried to get a free line.
- A passenger or cargo system of public or private transportation, as by ship, aircraft, or bus, usually over a definite route.
- A company owning or managing such a system.
- A railway track or system of tracks.
- A particular section of a railway network: the Philadelphia-Trenton line.
- A course of progress or movement; a route: a line of flight.
- A general method, manner, or course of procedure: different lines of thought; took a hard line on defense.
- A manner or course of procedure determined by a specified factor: development along socialist lines.
- An official or prescribed policy: the party line.
- A general concept or model. Often used in the plural: a trilogy along the lines of the Oresteia.
- A condition of agreement; alignment: brought the front wheels into line; a wage agreement in line with current inflation.
- One's trade, occupation, or field of interest: What line of work are you in?
- Range of competence: not in my line.
- Merchandise or services of a similar or related nature: carries a complete line of small tools.
- A group of persons or things arranged in a row or series: long lines at the box office; a line of stones.
- Ancestry or lineage.
- A series of persons, especially from one family, who succeed each other: a line of monarchs; comes from a long line of bankers.
- A strain, as of livestock or plants, developed and maintained by selective breeding.
- A sequence of related things that leads to a certain ending: a line of argument.
- An ordered system of operations that allows a sequential manufacture or assembly of goods at all or various stages of production.
- The personnel of an organization or a business who actually make a product or perform a service.
- A horizontal row of printed or written words or symbols.
- One of the horizontal scans forming a television image.
- A brief letter; a note: I'll drop you a line.
- A unit of verse ending in a visual or typographic break and generally characterized by its length and meter: a line of iambic pentameter.
- The dialogue of a theatrical presentation, such as a play. Often used in the plural: spent the weekend learning her lines.
- Informal Glib or insincere talk, usually intended to deceive or impress: He kept on handing me a line about how busy he is.
Abbr. lines Chiefly British
- A marriage certificate.
- A usually specified number of lines of prose or verse to be written out by a pupil as punishment.
- Games A horizontal demarcation on a scorecard in bridge dividing the honor score from the trick score.
- A source of information.
- The information itself: got a line on the computer project.
- Music One of the five parallel marks constituting a staff.
- A sustained melodic or harmonic part in a piece: a rock song with a driving bass line.
- A formation in which elements, such as troops, tanks, or ships, are arranged abreast of one another.
- The battle area closest to the enemy; the front.
- The combat troops or warships at the front, arrayed for defense or offense.
- The regular forces of an army or a navy, in contrast to staff and support personnel.
- The class of officers in direct command of warships or of army combat units.
- A bulwark or trench.
- An extended system of such fortifications or defenses: the Siegfried line.
- A foul line.
- A real or imaginary mark demarcating a specified section of a playing area or field.
- A real or imaginary mark or point at which a race begins or ends.
- The center and two wings making up a hockey team's offensive unit.
- Football A line of scrimmage.
- Football The linemen considered as a group.
- Informal The odds a bookmaker gives, especially for sports events.
- The proportion of an insurance risk assumed by a particular underwriter or company.
- Slang A small amount of cocaine arranged in a thin, usually tightly rolled strip for sniffing.
- Archaic One's lot or position in life.
, lines VERB: tr.
VERB: intr. Baseball
- To mark, incise, or cover with a line or lines.
- To represent with lines.
- To place in a series or row.
- To form a bordering line along: Small stalls lined the alley.
- Baseball To hit (a ball) sharply so that it flies low and fast.
PHRASAL VERB: line up
- To hit a line drive: lined out to shortstop.
IDIOMS: all along the line
- To arrange in or form a line.
- Football To take one's position in a formation before a snap or kickoff.
- To organize and make ready: lined up considerable support for the bill.
down the line
- In every place.
- At every stage or moment.
in line for
- All the way; throughout: Errors are to be found down the line.
- At a point or an end in the future.
on the line
- Next in order for: in line for the presidency.
out of line
- Ready or available for immediate payment.
- So as to be risked; in jeopardy: "Careers were on the line once again" (Seymour M. Hersh).
- Uncalled-for; improper.
- Unruly and out of control.
Middle English, from Old English lne
, and from Old French ligne
both from Latin lnea
, string, cord
, from feminine of lneus
, of linen
, from lnum
, thread, linen
; see lno-
in Indo-European roots