Meaning of LINE in English

I. ˈlīn noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English līn — more at linen


a. archaic : spun or woven flax : linen material

b. obsolete : linen clothing


a. obsolete : the fiber of flax

b. : long fibers of flax hackled and ready for spinning

3. archaic : a flax plant ( Linum usitatissimum )

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English linen, from line (I)

1. : to cover the inner surface of

line cloak with silk

lined the cheese box with cheesecloth

2. : to put something in the inside of : fill , supply

and then the justice, in fair round belly with good capon lined — Shakespeare

3. : to serve as the lining of

silk hangings lined the walls

4. obsolete

a. : to cover the outer surface of : pad

b. : to place persons or things along the side of for security : strengthen by adding something : fortify

5. : to strengthen (a book) after sewing, trimming, and usually backing by applying glue to the back and affixing lining material (as super, leather, or flannel) and paper — often used with up

- line one's pockets

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, partly from Old French ligne (from Latin linea, from feminine of lineus made of flax or linen, from linum flax, linen + -eus -eous) & partly from Old English līne; Old English līne akin to Old High German līna rope; derivative from the root of Old English līn spun or woven flax — more at linen


a. : thread , string , cord , rope : as

(1) : a comparatively strong slender cord — often used in combination

hand line

a hard hemp line

(2) : leash , lead

(3) archaic : a cord or nerve of the body

(4) : a thread of a spider's web

(5) : clothesline

(6) : a rope used on shipboard (as for hauling, towing, mooring) ; specifically : a piece of rope that has been cut from a coil for a particular use

(7) : a rope of about 150 fathoms length that is attached to a whaling harpoon

(8) : a single 50-fathom skein of the rope used to make up a skate of a fisherman's setline or groundline


(1) : a device for catching fish consisting of a cord (as of silk or linen) together with baited hooks, sinkers, floats, and other appurtenances — see handline

(2) : scope for activity : rope

c. : a length of material (as cord, wire, or steel tape) that is used especially in measuring and leveling

used a line to level the foundation

d. : cordage as a material

makers of fine linen line

only the strongest line will serve

e. : rein 1 — usually used in plural

dropped the lines over the horse's head

f. : piping for conveying a fluid (as steam, gas, water, oil) from one location to another

blew out the main line

installed a new sewage line

broadly : hose , pipe


(1) : a wire or pair of wires connecting one telegraph or telephone station with another or a whole system of such wires

(2) : the principal circuits of an electric power system



(1) : a row of written or printed characters or of spacing material especially when extending across a page or column

70 lines of crabbed gothic script

the last line on the page

(2) : a row of type (as for printing a line)

(3) : slug 2b(4), 2b(5), 2c

b. : a unit in the rhythmic structure of verse that is formed by the grouping together of a number of the smallest units of the rhythm (as syllables, stress-groups, metrical feet) according to some principle or norm supplied by the nature or a convention of that kind of verse and that constitutes a rhythmic unit intermediate between the foot and the larger structural units into which lines in turn may be composed or combined either by continuous stichic repetition in series or by arrangement in systematic patterns (as strophes or stanzas)

c. : a brief bit of writing : a short letter : note

dropped him a line confirming the date

jotted down a few lines

d. lines plural : a certificate of marriage : marriage lines

e. : the words making up a part in a drama — usually used in plural

spent four hours a day memorizing his lines

f. lines plural : a task usually assigned as a school punishment that consists of writing out or sometimes memorizing or translating a specified number of lines of writing (as classical verse)


a. : something (as a ridge, seam, furrow, band of color) that is distinct, elongated, narrow, and rather uniform in width

lines of color in stratified rock

growth lines in a tree trunk

b. : a narrow crease on the visible part of the body : wrinkle

face seamed with lines

c. : the course or direction of something in motion or treated as if in motion

the line of flight of a bullet

lines of flow

: route


(1) : a real or imaginary straight line oriented in terms of at least temporarily stable points of reference or arrangement in such a line

sight along the line from the fence corner to the blasted oak

the reserves advanced to the line of the guns

waiting in line for tickets

(2) : an oriented state of harmonious agreement

had to bring the doubters into line

it was difficult to get everyone into line

hardly in line with our policy

e. : a boundary or limit especially of a plot of ground — usually used in plural

had a surveyor run property lines


(1) : the track and roadbed of a railway

(2) : condition of track as to uniformity of direction on tangents or variation on curves


(1) : a sharp image of the slit in a spectrograph produced by light of a particular wavelength or a narrow range of wavelengths, the position of the image providing data from which the wavelength can be determined

(2) : a similar image in a mass spectrograph whose position provides data that can be used to determine the mass of an isotope


a. : a course of conduct, action, or thought

took a firm line with his nephew

his decision took the line of duty

b. : an individual's field of intellectual, artistic, or business activity or interest

modern art is his line

completely out of my line

c. : a field of business or professional activity

worked in the plumbing line

men used to want their sons to enter one of the professional lines

d. slang : an individual's characteristic form of glib and often persuasive address

had a line to make angels weep



(1) obsolete : a basis or standard by which one lives : rule of conduct

(2) : a bounding restriction (as on personal conduct) : limit , restraint

really overstepped the line of good taste

b. archaic : position in life : lot , rank

c. : fortune , chance , luck — usually used in the phrase hard lines

it was hard lines to have such a sudden setback

6. : any of various things that are or may be considered as arranged in a row or sequence: as


(1) : a succession of ancestors or descendants of an individual : family , race , lineage

descended from a noble line

the sire of an evil line

(2) : a strain produced and maintained by selective breeding

a high-fat line of cattle

(3) : a chronological series

b. : a series of related positions that may be represented by a continuous line which does not intersect itself : chain 3b

a line of mountain peaks

extended the line of fire towers

the intricate line of the coast


(1) obsolete : trench , rampart

(2) : dispositions made to cover extended military positions and presenting a front to the enemy — usually used in plural

(3) : a military formation in which the different elements are abreast of each other — contrasted with column

(4) lines plural , Britain : a row or block of tents or small buildings for troops in cantonment

d. : naval ships arranged in a regular order : a regular ordering of ships ; especially : an arrangement of ships abreast


(1) : the combatant forces of an army as distinguished from the staff corps and services of supply and in Great Britain from the household troops

(2) : the force of a regular navy


(1) : officers of the United States Navy eligible for command at sea as distinguished from officers of the staff

(2) : officers of the United States Army belonging to a combatant branch

g. : a rank of objects that are or are accounted to be of one kind

a line of small houses

a line of trees along the stream


(1) : a group of public conveyances (as buses, ships, or airplanes) plying regularly under one management over a route

several stage lines were started

broadly : a system of transportation together with its equipment, routes, and appurtenances

the eastern freight lines

(2) : the company or organization owning or conducting a transporation line

i. : a rhythmic succession of musical notes or tones

a musical line

the melodic line


(1) : an arrangement of manufacturing or assembling operations designed to permit sequential occurrence on various stages of production

a carefully engineered production line

(2) : the personnel of an organization responsible for its stated objective (as by manning a production line) — compare staff

(3) : the channel of communication within an organization


(1) : the 7 players, including center, 2 guards, 2 tackles, and 2 ends, who in offensive football play line up on or within one foot of the line of scrimmage

(2) : the players who in defensive play line up within one yard of the line of scrimmage

l. slang : red-light district

7. : a narrow elongated mark drawn or projected (as with pencil or graver): as


(1) : a circle of latitude or longitude on a map

(2) : equator — usually used with the

passing the line


(1) : straight line — used especially technically when confusion with curve is unlikely

(2) : a locus of points whose coordinates depend on a single independent variable : curve 5a : the intersection of two surfaces

c. : a mark recording a boundary, division, or contour (as on a map)

d. : any of the horizontal parallel strokes on a music staff, on and between which the notes are placed

e. : a mark (as by pencil, brush, or graver's tool) that forms part of the formal design of a picture as distinguished from the shading or coloring

f. : a heavy horizontal line on a bridge score that divides the honor score from the trick score


(1) : a demarcation of a limit with reference to which the playing of some game (as football) or sport (as racing) is regulated — usually used in combination; see end line , free throw , goal line , sideline ; rugby illustration

(2) : line of scrimmage


a. : a defining outline : contour , lineament

the rising line of the hills

— often used in plural

the sleek lines of blooded stock

b. : the general style of an artistic composition with respect to the sequence or arrangement of its outlines, contours, and other elements — usually used in plural

c. lines plural : the outlines of a ship from stem to stern and from keel to sheer strake whether visualized from a sectional plan or viewed directly

d. : a plan or sketch of something done or to be done : model — usually used in plural

brief notes on the lines of a guidebook

explained the lines of his foreign policy

e. : the contour or lineament of a specific instrumental or voice part in music and its horizontal motion as distinguished from the overall vertical harmonic structure

the soaring tenor line

the bass line of the harmony

f. : one of four imaginary areas on a fencer's body when confronting an opponent that is determined as being the quarter of defense and attack in a given position of the blades

g. : the style or cut of a garment

a dress cut on the princess line

— often used in plural

h. : the visible design or outline of a dancer's body


[translation of French ligne ]


(1) : a disused unit of length equal to 1/12 inch

(2) : a unit of measure for buttons equal to 1/40 inch — called also ligne

b. : maxwell


(1) : agate line

(2) chiefly Britain : pica — used to indicate the size of large type

288-point type is often called 24- line type

(3) : the top-to-bottom or belly-to-back dimension of a text letter used as a unit to denote the relative size of a larger especially initial letter or of a cut appearing with matter set in such text letters

this 72-point ornament will be a 9- line initial when set with 8-point text type or a 12- line initial when set with 6-point text type

(4) : one line of text type used as a unit for measuring the body size of a larger character set with it — used in combination

a 3- line initial

a 10- line ornament

d. : the unit of fineness of halftones expressed as the number of screen lines to the linear inch with the lower numbers (as 60-line) denoting coarse and the higher numbers (as 120-line) fine


a. : a stock of goods on hand and available for sale or bought for resale usually including more than one kind of item but of varied quality and price

a new store carrying a line of fancy groceries

a new line of accessories

a full line of electrical supplies


(1) : kinds of insurance available

(2) : the amount of insurance written (as by several companies) on a single risk

c. : amount of credit available to a single borrower


a. : an indication (as of a trend or intention) based on insight or investigation

tried to get a line on his brother's plans

b. : the trail of scent left by a quarry


a. : a complete game of 10 frames in bowling — called also string

b. : a hand won in gin rummy ; also : the points gained by winning a hand


a. : a strip on a craps layout on which are placed side bets to the effect that the caster of the dice will pass — called also pass line

b. : flight line

- down the line

- in line

- in line for

- in line with

- on the line

- on the lines of

- out of line

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English linen, from line (III)

transitive verb

1. archaic

a. : to tie or make fast with a line


(1) : to measure, sound, or examine with a line

(2) : to reach or extend like a line

2. : to mark with a line or lines : deface with lines

time that lines the faces of the fair

3. : to depict with lines : portray especially in outline : draw

4. : to place, be placed, or be in a line along : place or form a line or lines along

pedestrians line the walks

shabby houses lining mean streets

5. : to form into a line or lines : bring into physical alignment, into agreement with some standard, or into concord (as with an idea) — often used with up

lined up the troops to face the river

lining up support for the candidate

we will line up an invincible resistance

6. : to track (wild bees) to their nest by following their line of flight

7. : line out

8. : to throw or hit (as a baseball) so as to cause to travel swiftly and not far above the ground

intransitive verb


a. : to form a line : come together into a line — often used with up

lined up and marched away

b. : to share a common boundary : adjoin

their lands lined on the brook

2. : to fish with a line

seining and lining

3. : to hit a line drive in baseball

4. : align

V. adjective

Etymology: line (III)

: lineal , linear : as


(1) : made up of or delineated by means of lines

a line sketch

— see line engraving

(2) : involving or consisting of line work

line copy


(1) : having authority and responsibility flowing in a direct unbroken line between superior and subordinate persons in an organization

the machinery of policy formulation is controlled by line executives

(2) : belonging to personnel of the line of an organization

the nature of line authority becomes apparent from the scalar principle — Harold Koontz & Cyril O'Donnell

(3) : straight-line

VI. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English linen, modification of Middle French aligner to impregnate, align — more at align

: cover , impregnate — used of a canine male

VII. noun

1. : a circuit in an electronic communication system

2. : a telephone connection

tried to get a line

also : an individual telephone extension

a call on line 2

3. : any of the successive horizontal rows of picture elements on a television screen

4. : an amount of cocaine that is arranged in a line to be inhaled through the nose

5. : betting odds set by bookmakers especially for a sports event

6. : an often numbered section of a computer program containing a single command or a small number of usually related commands

a line of code

7. : a narrow short sterile synthetic tube (as of plastic) that is inserted approximately one inch into a vein (as of the arm) to provide temporary intravenous access for the administration of fluid, medication, or nutrients

- down the line

- on line

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.