From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishlineline1 /laɪn/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 on paper/on the ground [countable]LINE a long thin mark on a piece of paper, the ground, or another surface Draw a straight line across the top of the page. Sign your name on the dotted line (=line made up of a series of dots). The edges of the pitch are marked by white lines. The goalkeeper just managed to stop the ball going over the line. He raced towards the finishing line.2 between two areas [countable]LINE an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, for example showing where one country or area of land stops and another beginscounty/state line American English He was born in a small town just across the state line.line of latitude/longitude They were still travelling along the same line of longitude.► see thesaurus at border → International Date Line3 of people/things [countable] a) LINEa row of people or things next to each otherline of There was a line of fir trees on either side of the road. The four men were standing in a line on the other side of the table. A couple of the posts were out of line (=not in a straight row). b) LINE especially American English a row of people, cars etc that are waiting one behind the other syn queue British English I looked in despair at the long line in front of the ticket office.line of I joined the line of vehicles waiting to get into the car park.stand/wait in line Customers stood in line for 20 minutes at the cash register. He tried to cut in line (=go in front of other people who are waiting). The woman next in line began to mutter to herself.4 direction [countable]DIRECTION the direction or imaginary line along which something travels between two places Light travels in a straight line. A boat came into my line of vision (=the direction I was looking in).line of fire/attack/movement etc (=the direction in which someone shoots, attacks, moves etc) I was directly in the animal’s line of attack. They knew they needed to block their enemy’s supply lines (=the direction used for carrying supplies of food etc).5 on your face [countable]LINE a line on the skin of someone’s face → wrinkle She frowned, and deep lines appeared between her eyebrows. There were fine lines around her eyes. No one can avoid lines and wrinkles as they get older.6 phone [countable]TCT a telephone wire or connection I’m sorry, the line is busy (=someone is already using it). There seems to be a fault on the line. There was a click, then the line went dead (=suddenly stopped working completely). Henry is on the line (=on the phone) from New York. I got on the line to (=phoned) the hospital as soon as I heard about the accident. I wished he would just get off the line. I’m sorry, it’s a bad line and I can’t hear you. Hold the line (=wait on the phone), please, and I’ll put you through to our sales department. Do you have a separate line for your modem? 7 for trains [countable]TTT a track that a train travels along We were delayed because of a problem further along the line. When you get to central London, take the Victoria Line to Finsbury Park.railway line British English, railroad line American English The trail follows a disused railroad line along the edge of the valley.8 between two types of thing [countable usually singular] the point at which one type of thing can be considered to be something else or at which it becomes a particular thingline between There is a fine line between superstition and religion. The dividing line between luxuries and necessities is constantly changing. Sometimes he found it hard to draw the line between work and pleasure. Her remarks did not quite cross the line into rudeness. Large numbers of families are living on or near the poverty line (=the point at which people are considered to be very poor).9 shape/edge [countable usually plural]SHAPE the outer shape of something long or tall She was wearing a loose dress which softened the lines of her body. a modern building with clean, elegant lines.10 words [countable] a) a line of written words, for example in a poem or a document He quoted a few lines from Shakespeare. Scroll down to line 29. b) a remark He liked to introduce himself with a witty opening line. This was one of his favourite chat-up lines (=remark for impressing someone you want to attract). c) [usually plural] words that someone has to learn and say as part of a play or performance Paul often messed up his lines. It always took me ages to learn my lines.11 opinion/attitudeOPINION [singular] an opinion or attitude, especially one that someone states publicly and that influences their actionsline on I can’t agree with the government’s line on immigration. Journalists are often too willing to accept the official line (=the opinion that a government states officially). He found it hard to accept the party line (=the official opinion of a political party) on every issue.take a tough/firm/hard line on something The school takes a very tough line on drugs. → toe the line at toe212 way of doing somethingWAY/MANNER [countable] a particular way of doing something or of thinking about somethingline of argument/reasoning/inquiry etc It seemed useless to pursue this line of questioning. Opposition parties soon realized they would have to try a different line of attack. The police are following several different lines of enquiry. We were both thinking along the same lines (=in the same way). In South Africa, the press developed along very different lines (=in a very different way). More groups will now be set up on these lines (=this way). The company’s rapid success means it’s definitely on the right lines (=doing something the right way). 13 series of events [countable usually singular] a series of events that follow each otherline of This is the latest in a long line of political scandals.14 in a war [countable]PM the edge of an area that is controlled by an army, where soldiers stay and try to prevent their enemy from moving forward They finally broke through the German line. young soldiers who were sent to the front line to fight One regiment was trapped behind enemy lines. Reinforcements were available just behind the lines.15 in a company/organization [countable] a series of levels of authority within an organization Decisions are taken by senior officers and fed down through the line of command to the ordinary soldiers. There should be more direct discussion between managers and workers lower down the line. → line manager16 of rope/wire [countable]DHC a piece of strong string, rope, or wire used for a particular purpose She hung the clothes out on the washing line (=line for hanging wet clothes on to dry). The fishing line (=line for catching fish) snapped and the fish got away.17 product [countable]BBT a type of goods for sale in a shop The company has just launched a new line of small, low-priced computers.18 → along these/those lines19 → along religious/ethnic/party etc lines20 → on line21 → drop somebody a line22 → don’t give me that line23 → fall into line/bring somebody into line24 → in line with something25 → bring something into line with something26 → be out of line27 → be in line for something/be in line to do something28 → be first/second/next etc in line to the throne29 → be on the line30 → be in somebody’s line31 → get a line on somebody/something32 → somewhere along the line33 → down the line34 → in the line of duty35 → be in the firing line/in the line of fire36 → lines37 family [singular]FAMILY your family, considered as the people you are related to who lived before you and the people who will live after you She comes from a long line of actors. It looks as if Joe might be the last of the line (=the last in his family).the male/female line This particular gene is passed down through the male line.line of succession (=the system by which an important position or property is passed from a parent to their children, and then to their children etc) Henry the Eighth wanted a male heir to ensure the Tudor line of succession. 38 job [countable usually singular]JOB/WORK the type of work someone doesline of work/business What line of business is he in?in the building/retail etc line She’s keen to do something in the fashion line.39 transport [countable]TT a company that provides transport for moving goods by sea, air, road etc He runs a transatlantic shipping line.40 drug [countable] informalMDD an amount of an illegal drug in powder form, arranged in a line so it can be breathed in through the nose → draw the line at at draw1(16), → draw a line (between something) at draw1(15), → where do you draw the line? at draw1(17), → draw a line under something at draw1(18), → hard line at hard1(21), → hook, line and sinker at hook1(9), → lay something on the line at lay2(18), → picket line, → the poverty line/level at poverty(2), → read between the lines at read1(14)THESAURUSon the ground/on the surface of somethingline a long thin mark on a piece of paper, the ground, or another surfaceThe teacher put a red line through the first sentence.If the ball goes over the line, it’s out of play.groove a thin line that has been cut into a surfaceDeep grooves had been cut into the stone to channel the water.Lyle ran his fingernail along the groove in the table.rut a deep line in the ground which has been made by the wheels of vehiclesThe deep ruts made by the trucks were full of water.The tractor’s wheels caught a rut in the field and jolted him.crease/wrinkle a line on clothes, material, or paper where it has been folded or crushedShe was trying to smooth out the creases in her dress.She had wrinkles in her skirt where she had sat.on someone’s faceline a line on the skin of someone’s faceThe deep lines on his forehead showed that he was a worried man.wrinkle a deep line on someone’s face caused by becoming oldThe manufacturers claim that the cream will reduce wrinkles.Even with a few wrinkles, she still looks great.
Examples from the Corpusline• lines of longitude• Mike drew a line along the wall to show where the tiles would come up to.• Maisie had arranged her teddy bears in a line on the bed.• In front of the house there is a line of tall trees.• Start reading at line 12.• The deep lines on his forehead showed that he was a worried man.• the car's smooth elegant lines• a few lines of poetry• Martin opened the letter and read the first few lines - it was bad news.• He followed in his own limousine - then drove the Panhard a few hundred yards to the finishing line.• I'm getting little lines around my eyes.• After 30 years on the stage, I still forget my lines.• a new line of clothes for winter• a railroad line• The second line, to be ready in July, will allow traffic to be rerouted in case of another interruption.• a shipping line• a straight line• A train had broken down further along the line.• The 38th parallel is the line that divides North and South Korea.• And I remember looking back, and at the very end of the line was the calf, following us.• Their tunnel starts in our part of the line.• She, good girl, slid over the bow and into the shallows with the line.• If the ball goes over this line, it's out of play.• Read the first two lines of the poem.• Luckily by then we had enough material - together with a few more worry lines.• Monica got a fine yesterday for parking on a yellow line.straight line• As long as he moved in a straight line at a uniform speed, he felt a wonderful sense of buoyancy.• The beam carried on in a straight line, and hit the point where the bullseye ought to have been.• Neither recovery nor relapse is a straight line.• His wife, arms folded, mouth a straight line.• In the meantime I began to set out a straight line for us to work along.• Try to keep them in a fairly straight line along each joist.• Bobbie favored straight lines over detours, but in her own way she too knew how to adapt.• All objects have a propensity to move in straight lines, upwards or downwards, towards their natural place.county/state line• The abduction of Pam McGill prior to her murder occurred on a county line.• For purposes of consistency and enforcement across state lines, divorce laws need to be substantially federalized by the national village.• As is shown in Figures 15. 1c and 15. 2c, a considerable amount of waste crosses State lines.• When the train reached the New 160 Hampshire-Massachusetts state line, it stopped again.• Invariably, she is richer after meetings at her local track, Oaklawn, just across the state line in Arkansas.• Around 1920, he established a practice just across the state line in Copperhill, Tenn.• Adams wheeled around at the state line and took off at high speed for Oglala, about fifteen miles away.line of• a line of bushesin a straight line• So they must have thought they were still going in a straight line heading for the bullseye.• All objects have a propensity to move in straight lines, upwards or downwards, towards their natural place.• They followed rivers for convenience, then struck out in a straight line, bisecting mountain ranges, cutting watersheds in half.• Photographs showed it to consist of twenty or more radiant pieces in a straight line, embedded inside an extensive bright cloud.• Light always travels in a straight line.• The snow had come down the mountain and now met us on the road, sailing toward us in straight lines.• It's difficult to walk in a straight line with your eyes closed.• They are like crayfish, unable to walk in a straight line.• He blasted it and it went in a straight line from his foot to the top right hand corner.• Because it was attached to the straw and the string, it went in a straight line.deep lines• Her pale yellow hair had long ago gone gray; deep lines ran from her nose to her mouth.• In time they turn into deep lines, wrinkles, frown marks and sagging skin.• The rough pebbles of scar tissue interrupted the deep lines that laughter had once carved into his temples.• Her skin was cleft with deep lines running from the jaw to the high jutting cheekbones.on the line• I shrugged my shoulders and then the hospital came on the line.• The slip knot should be marked with a spot of colour on the line.• He told Sir Bryan to get the Chief Constable on the line immediately and to keep it open in the meantime.• The service was intense and an immediate turn-round was virtually possible at Delph because there were so many on the line.• On the basis of what I told them, they put money on the line.• A lot of people are putting money on the line, hoping what Petruchio says he can do, he will do.• There's a lot of static on the line.railway line• Few railway lines were built for non-economic reasons.• The latter were concentrated quite markedly in Stratford and Forest Gate within easy reach of the main railway line into the city.• It shared them with the rickety railway line which ran parallel to the road.• Steam on the kitchen window cuts off the railway lines, making the tiny kitchen for once a friendly place.• The figure on the tracks was moving forward, stepping across the thrumming railway lines.fine line• There is clearly a fine line between stifling government intervention and encouraging creativity and innovation.• It's a fine line between guilt and shame.• Terror was the key, of course, for there's a fine line between paralysing dread and galvanising fright.• Pressed powder can be used but it will sit on your skin and in fine lines if you overdo it.• Omite dabs at her eyes, which are surrounded by hundreds of fine lines.• Choose from: Dry Skin Cream a rich moisturiser to smooth out fine lines.• It was finished, obviously, and he had to take consolation in the fine line be-tween biology and spirit.• This is indeed treading the fine line between glory and disaster.learn ... lines• George Birkitt got lazy about learning his lines too.• The fact could not be avoided: Michael Banks could no longer learn lines.• Do not learn your lines, as this can make the talk rather stilted unless you are a competent actor.• It's time for the synthetic actors to start learning their lines.• The only way for it to look any different is for Michael to learn the bloody lines.• On another part of the movie lot, Charlie Schlatter was learning his final lines of the drama.• He had little patience with learning lines, a habit which spread to members of his company.line on• What's the candidate's line on abortion?line of argument/reasoning/inquiry etc• Another line of argument emphasizes how women are rendered invisible in these statistics.• Important lines of inquiry, he realized, had not been pursued.• One of the strengths of Cable's work here is that he makes such possible lines of argument and controversy vivid.• The same line of reasoning confirms the sun-disc as a manifestation of a deity.• The same line of reasoning was applicable to the admissibility of evidence relating to previous agreements.• Mr. Jones I do not accept that line of argument from the hon. Gentleman.• This invalidates the line of reasoning just followed.• Again, this line of reasoning is purely speculative.long line• Johann was the latest in a long line of men who had built these walls and kept them in repair.• A long line of soldiers splashed across the river and poured their fire into the silent lodges.• An estimated 40,000 sea turtles are killed each year on commercial long lines...• In the shorter term, cyanide fishing also depletes stocks faster than the traditional use of long lines, or even nets.• On the way out, he admired the long line of brilliant carriages which he had never seen before.• The name Venturous was a break from the long line of traditional names for Cutters as it had never previously been used.• The Confederates, with the smaller army, had the longer line to fill.• In their front, to their rear, and supported on each side, were long lines of blue.front line• The entire front line, with few exceptions, went down in the consuming blast.• Foreign journalists have been turned back and some even detained at numerous checkpoints along the former front lines throughout the country.• They had never left their home, even when the Arab-Jewish front line ran behind the house in 1948.• In any dispute about public spending, you are in the front line.• Nearby was the base camp for the New Zealand Division that was away fighting in the front line.• Warren Goss was among the Federals who were hugging the ground in the front lines.• It would be like having all our soldiers in the front line at the same time.• The police didn't give any ground and on the front line they handed out as much physical punishment as they received.washing line• There was hardly room for a washing line in the back.• Jacket taken: A sheepskin jacket worth £69 was stolen from a washing line in Hewitson Road, Darlington.• Let there be shirts on a washing line.• That is, with a path slap down the middle, a flanking washing line and four narrow borders around the edge.• They resembled washing lines, although instead of clothes, several dozen peculiar wooden and metal contraptions were pegged out.• The groups of houses and their washing lines.the male/female line• Aberration, if it occurred, was not recorded, and the female line took second place.• A second method of proclaiming cadency down the male line of the whole blood is to display single marks of difference.• Egg colour itself is inherited down the female line, so that females stay with the bird by whom they were fostered.• Incidentally, this means that we can use mitochondria to trace our ancestry, strictly down the female line.• The family was one of the most prolific in the parish, but in the end the male line withered.• X genes are not the only genes inherited through the female line.line of work/business• Henson had to leave real-estate, which had been his line of business since 1969.• In his line of business you don't get to be forty unless you have something on the ball.• I meet some interesting people in my line of work.• It should be anticipated that eventually the best qualified and experienced public service professionals will opt for some other line of work.• About half way up the ridge a small line of works had been thrown up.• But I needed cash quickly to set up in that line of business.• His wife, a former social worker, gave up that line of work when she concluded it was hopeless.• I didn't go into this line of work to take the easy option every time things get rough.• Some, unfortunately, have simply chosen the wrong line of work.• But maybe Behring is just in the wrong line of work.