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line

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noun line pronunciation in American English /laɪn/ 
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plurallines
  1. 1
    [countable] a long thin mark on the surface of something

    Draw a straight line.

    Each horizontal line on the graph represents fifteen minutes.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
    1. a.
      a long thin mark on the ground used in sports for marking an area in which a game is played, or for showing where a race starts or finishes

      It was hard to tell whether the ball had crossed the line.

      the starting line

      See also  line of scrimmage
    2. b.
      a long thin mark on a road used for organizing traffic and for showing drivers where they can park

      In the fog he drifted across the line into the next lane.

    3. c.
      a thin mark on someone's skin that appears especially as they get older

      There were small lines at the corners of her mouth and around her eyes.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
  2. 2
    [countable] an edge that shows the shape of something

    Buyers are attracted by the sleek lines of the car.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
  3. 3
    [countable] a border between two regions

    They escaped across the state line into Pennsylvania.

    1. a.
      an imaginary limit or border between two situations or conditions

      The country is still divided along ethnic lines.

      line between:

      The program blurs the line between news and entertainment.

      a fine/thin line:

      There is a fine line between resolving the crisis peacefully and giving in to terrorism.

  4. 4
    [countable] a telephone connection

    My daughter now wants her own phone line in her bedroom.

    It's a very bad line – put the phone down and I'll call you back.

    1. a.
      a telephone service

      The advice line is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays.

      a chat line

  5. 5
    [countable] a row of people or things

    A line of police stood outside the post office as employees were evacuated.

    On the far bank were thick reeds and a line of palm trees.

    in a line:

    She told the children to stay in line and not push.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
    1. b.
      a row of people who are waiting for something
      stand in line:

      We stood in line for about an hour to get the tickets.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
  6. 6
    [countable] a part of a railroad system

    There are plans to reopen the train line.

    1. a.
      the long metal bars on which trains travel

      Train service has been canceled because of repair work on the line.

  7. 7
    [countable] a company that provides a transportation service

    The shipping line is losing money, and the parent company wants to sell it.

  8. 8
    [countable] [usually singular] a way of thinking, talking, or finding out about something
    line of thought:

    He impatiently dismissed this line of thought.

    line of argument:

    You also need to develop a persuasive line of argument.

    line of inquiry:

    What are the main lines of inquiry you intend to pursue?

    1. a.
      an attitude or belief, especially one that is expressed publicly
      take a tough/firm/hard line:

      Environmental groups took a very tough line with the industry.

      line on:

      Forsyth appears to have hardened his line on Europe.

  9. 9
    [countable] a series of words written or printed in a row

    a line of text

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
    1. a.
      [plural] theater the words that an actor says in a performance

      He forgot his lines.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
    2. b.
      [countable] a clever or funny remark
    3. c.
      [singular] a remark, excuse, or explanation that is not sincere or true

      Don't give me that old line.

  10. 10
    [countable] the direction or path along which someone or something moves or looks

    He was so drunk he couldn't walk in a straight line.

    Deep snow is blocking the mountain roads that serve as supply lines for the rebels.

    line of fire (=the direction in which weapons are fired):

    Though there is fighting nearby, the camp is not in the line of fire.

    line of vision (=the direction in which someone is looking):

    I was standing right in his line of vision.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
  11. 11
    [countable] a piece of string, rope, or wire used for a particular purpose

    a washing line

    Heavy snow brought down power lines.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of line
  12. 12
    [singular] a type of work or area of interest
    line of business/work:

    What line of business are you in exactly?

    in someone's line:

    Light novels are more in my line.

  13. 13
    business several products forming a set, for example because they are all of the same type or are all produced by the same company

    The company is broadening its product lines to attract more buyers.

    a new line of perfume

  14. 14
    [countable] the way that communication, authority, or responsibility is shared between people in an organization

    We want to open up lines of communication and provide more information.

    The organization's problems were caused by a lack of clear reporting lines.

  15. 15
    [countable] music a series of connected musical notes that form a tune

    a bass line

  16. 16
    [countable] a series of connected events

    This is just the latest in a long line of such scandals.

    1. a.
      a series of connected generations in the same family

      Mr. Nelson comes from a long line of carpenters.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of line

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