Meaning of LINE in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ laɪn ]

( lines, lining, lined)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


A line is a long thin mark which is drawn or painted on a surface.

Draw a line down that page’s center.

...a dotted line...

The ball had clearly crossed the line.



The lines on someone’s skin, especially on their face, are long thin marks that appear there as they grow older.

He has a large, generous face with deep lines.

= wrinkle

N-COUNT : usu pl


A line of people or things is a number of them arranged one behind the other or side by side.

The sparse line of spectators noticed nothing unusual.

= row

N-COUNT : oft N of n


A line of people or vehicles is a number of them that are waiting one behind another, for example in order to buy something or to go in a particular direction.

Children clutching empty bowls form a line...

= queue



A line of a piece of writing is one of the rows of words, numbers, or other symbols in it.

The next line should read: Five days, 23.5 hours...

Tina wouldn’t have read more than three lines.



A line of a poem, song, or play is a group of words that are spoken or sung together. If an actor learns his or her lines for a play or film, they learn what they have to say.

...a line from Shakespeare’s Othello: ‘one that loved not wisely but too well’...

Learning lines is very easy. Acting is very difficult.



You can refer to a long piece of wire, string, or cable as a line when it is used for a particular purpose.

She put her washing on the line.

...a piece of fishing-line...

The winds downed power lines.

N-VAR : usu with supp


A line is a connection which makes it possible for two people to speak to each other on the telephone.

The telephone lines went dead...

It’s not a very good line. Shall we call you back Susan?...

She’s on the line from her home in Boston.

N-COUNT : oft on the N


You can use line to refer to a telephone number which you can ring in order to get information or advice.

...the 24-hours information line.

N-COUNT : oft in names after n


A line is a route, especially a dangerous or secret one, along which people move or send messages or supplies.

Negotiators say they’re keeping communication lines open.

...the guerrillas’ main supply lines.

N-COUNT : usu pl , usu with supp


The line in which something or someone moves is the particular route that they take, especially when they keep moving straight ahead.

Walk in a straight line...

The wings were at right angles to the line of flight.



A line is a particular route, involving the same stations, roads, or stops along which a train or bus service regularly operates.

They’ve got to ride all the way to the end of the line...

I would be able to stay on the Piccadilly Line and get off the tube at South Kensington.

N-COUNT : usu with supp , oft in names after n


A railway line consists of the pieces of metal and wood which form the track that the trains travel along.

= track



A shipping, air, or bus line is a company which provides services for transporting people or goods by sea, air, or bus. ( BUSINESS )

The Foreign Office offered to pay the shipping line all the costs of diverting the ship to Bermuda.

= company

N-COUNT : usu supp N


A state or county line is a boundary between two states or counties. ( AM )

...the California state line.

= border

N-COUNT : usu sing , with supp


You can use lines to refer to the set of physical defences or the soldiers that have been established along the boundary of an area occupied by an army.

Their unit was shelling the German lines only seven miles away.



The particular line that a person has towards a problem is the attitude that they have towards it. For example, if someone takes a hard line on something, they have a firm strict policy which they refuse to change.

Forty members of the governing Conservative party rebelled, voting against the government line...

N-COUNT : usu sing , with supp


You can use line to refer to the way in which someone’s thoughts or activities develop, particularly if it is logical.

What are some of the practical benefits likely to be of this line of research?

N-COUNT : usu N of n / -ing


If you say that something happens along particular lines , or on particular lines , you are giving a general summary or approximate account of what happens, which may not be correct in every detail.

He’d said something along those lines already...

Our forecast for 1990 was on the right lines...

N-PLURAL : usu along/on N with supp


If something is organized on particular lines , or along particular lines , it is organized according to that method or principle. autonomous republics based on ethnic lines.

...reorganising old factories to work along Japanese lines.

N-PLURAL : on/along N with supp


Your line of business or work is the kind of work that you do. ( BUSINESS )

So what was your father’s line of business?...

In my line of work I often get home too late for dinner.

N-COUNT : usu N of n


A line is a particular type of product that a company makes or sells.

His best selling line is the cheapest lager at £1.99.



In a factory, a line is an arrangement of workers or machines where a product passes from one worker to another until it is finished.

...a production line capable of producing three different products.



You can use line when you are referring to a number of people who are ranked according to status.

Nicholas Paul Patrick was seventh in the line of succession to the throne...

...the man who stands next in line for the presidency.

N-COUNT : usu sing , oft N of n , ord in N


A particular line of people or things is a series of them that has existed over a period of time, when they have all been similar in some way, or done similar things.

We were part of a long line of artists...

It’s the latest in a long line of tragedies.

N-COUNT : usu sing , usu N of n


If people or things line a road, room, or other place, they are present in large numbers along its edges or sides.

Thousands of local people lined the streets and clapped as the procession went by.

...a square lined with pubs and clubs.

VERB : V n , V-ed

• -lined

...a long tree-lined drive.



If you line a wall, container, or other object, you put a layer of something such as leaves or paper on the inside surface of it in order to make it stronger, warmer, or cleaner.

Scoop the blanket weed out and use it to line hanging baskets...

Female bears tend to line their dens with leaves or grass.

VERB : V n , V n with n

• -lined

...a dark, suede-lined case.



If something lines a container or area, especially an area inside a person, animal, or plant, it forms a layer on the inside surface.

...the muscles that line the intestines.

VERB : V n


see also lined , lining , bottom line , branch line , dividing line , front line , party line , picket line , yellow line


If you draw the line at a particular activity, you refuse to do it, because you disapprove of it or because it is more extreme than what you normally do.

Letters have come from prisoners, declaring that they would draw the line at hitting an old lady.

PHRASE : V inflects , oft PHR at n / -ing


If you draw a line between two things, you make a distinction between them.

It is, however, not possible to draw a distinct line between the two categories.

= distinguish

PHRASE : V inflects


If you do something or if it happens to you in the line of duty , you do it or it happens as part of your regular work or as a result of it.

More than 3,000 police officers were wounded in the line of duty last year.

PHRASE : PHR after v , v-link PHR


If you refer to a method as the first line of , for example, defence or treatment, you mean that it is the first or most important method to be used in dealing with a problem.

Passport checks will remain the first line of defence against terrorists...



If you are in line for something, it is likely to happen to you or you are likely to obtain it. If something is in line to happen, it is likely to happen.

He must be in line for a place in the Guinness Book of Records...

Public sector pay is also in line to be hit hard.

= due

PHRASE : PHR for n , PHR to-inf


If one object is in line with others, or moves into line with others, they are arranged in a line. You can also say that a number of objects are in line or move into line .

The device itself was right under the vehicle, almost in line with the gear lever...

Venus, the Sun and Earth all moved into line.

PHRASE : v-link PHR , PHR after v , oft PHR with n


If one thing is in line with another, or is brought into line with it, the first thing is, or becomes, similar to the second, especially in a way that has been planned or expected.

The structure of our schools is now broadly in line with the major countries of the world...

This brings the law into line with most medical opinion.

PHRASE : usu PHR after v , v-link PHR , oft PHR with n


When people stand in line or wait in line , they stand one behind the other in a line, waiting their turn for something. ( AM; in BRIT, use queue )

I had been standing in line for three hours.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you keep someone in line or bring them into line , you make them obey you, or you make them behave in the way you want them to.

All this was just designed to frighten me and keep me in line.

...if the Prime Minister fails to bring rebellious Tories into line.

PHRASE : PHR after v


If a machine or piece of equipment comes on line , it starts operating. If it is off line , it is not operating.

The new machine will go on line in June 2006...

Every second her equipment was off line cost the company money.

PHRASE : usu PHR after v


If you do something on line , you do it using a computer or a computer network.

They can order their requirements on line.

...on-line transaction processing.

PHRASE : PHR after v , v-link PHR , PHR n


If something such as your job, career, or reputation is on the line , you may lose or harm it as a result of what you are doing or of the situation you are in. ( INFORMAL )

He wouldn’t put his career on the line to help a friend.

PHRASE : usu PHR after v , v-link PHR


If one thing is out of line with another, the first thing is different from the second in a way that was not agreed, planned, or expected.

...if one set of figures is sharply out of line with a trend.

PHRASE : usu v-link PHR , oft PHR with n


If someone steps out of line , they disobey someone or behave in an unacceptable way.

Any one of my players who steps out of line will be in trouble with me as well...

You’re way out of line, lady.

PHRASE : v PHR , v-link PHR


If you read between the lines , you understand what someone really means, or what is really happening in a situation, even though it is not said openly.

Reading between the lines, it seems neither Cole nor Ledley King will be going to Japan.

PHRASE : V inflects


to sign on the dotted line: see dotted

to line your pockets: see pocket

the line of least resistance: see resistance

to toe the line: see toe

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.