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noun line pronunciation in British English /laɪn/
Word Forms
  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.

    1. c.
      a thin mark on someones skin that appears especially as they get older

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

  2. 2
    [countable] a border between two regions

    the line between Northern Ireland and the Republic

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

      The country is still divided along ethnic lines.

      line between:

      The programme 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.

  3. 3
    [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 6pm to 10pm on weekdays.

      a chat line

  4. 4
    [countable] a part of a railway system

    the London to Brighton line

    There are plans to reopen the railway line.

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

      Train services have been cancelled due to repair work on the line.

  5. 5
    [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 enquiry:

    What are the main lines of enquiry 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.

  6. 7
    [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 walk in a line and not push.

    1. b.
      mainly American a queue of people waiting for something
      stand in line:

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

  7. 8
    [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.

  8. 9
    [countable] a company that provides a transport service

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

  9. 10
    [countable] 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

  10. 11
    [countable] a piece of string, rope, or wire used for a particular purpose

    a washing line

    Heavy snow brought down power lines.

  11. 12
    [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.

  12. 13
    [countable] an edge that shows the shape of something

    Buyers are attracted by the sleek lines of the car.

  13. 15
    [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.

  14. 16
    [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.



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

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Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

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