Meaning of LINEAR in English

I. ˈlinēə(r) adjective

Etymology: Latin linearis, from linea line + -aris -ar


a. : of or relating to a line: as

(1) : following a straight course : being or going in a straight direction

(2) of music : horizontal

(3) of a unit of measure : involving a single dimension : not square or cubic

b. : consisting of or arranged in a line: as

(1) : capable of being represented by a straight line on a graph — used of a relationship between two variables such that a change in one is accompanied by a proportional change in the other

the relation between urban population percentage and propensity to compete is not linear — V.O.Key

this series of samples may have been drawn from a population in which there is a linear relation between age and height — G.W.Snedecor

many sweeping systems of cosmology have been based on this linear (directly proportionate) relationship between the distance of galaxies and their speed — Time

(2) : having or showing a linear relationship

instead of a linear trend we find merely temporary fluctuations — P.A.Sorokin

(3) of painting : characterized by an emphasis on line ; broadly : having forms that are painted flat and evenly and with precise fully indicated outlines

(4) : consisting of an open and usually long straight chain of atoms

a linear molecule

linear polymers



(1) : resembling a line especially in extended length and narrow uniform width : long and slender

a wire is a linear conductor

a linear leaf

— see leaf illustration

(2) : intermediate between linear and a specified characteristic — used in combination

a linear -ensate leaf

petals linear -obovate

b. of a human body : ectomorphic — opposed to lateral


a. : giving a scale reading directly proportional to the quantity measured — used of a measuring instrument

b. : being, giving, or involving a response directly proportional to the input — used especially in connection with electronic devices

the amplifier must … have a pronounced linear response several octaves greater, in treble and bass, than you require in practical use — David Sarser

the crystal detector is not linear , so that a given increase in rectified current does not indicate a directly proportional increase in field strength — Radio Amateur's Handbook

4. : of, relating to, or constituting a segmental phoneme

II. adjective

1. : composed of simply drawn lines with little attempt at pictorial representation

linear script


a. : relating to, concerned with, or influenced by the sequential structure of the printed line

linear learning patterns

b. : arranged or presented in a logical or temporal sequence

linear procedures

the march of events is strictly linear — Robert Towers

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