line1 noun 1 a long narrow mark, streak or stripe. 2 (often in compounds ) a length of thread, rope, wire, etc used for specified purposes a washing line telephone lines . 3 a wrinkle or furrow, especially on the skin. 4 maths something that has length but no breadth or thickness. 5 the path which a moving object is considered to leave behind it, having length but no breadth. 6 a row. 7 a row of words or printed or written characters a line from Shakespeare . 8 (lines) the words of an actor's part. 9 (often lines) an outline or shape a car of stylish lines . 10 (lines) a punishment at school where a phrase or sentence has to be written out a set number of times. 11 music any one of the five horizontal marks forming a musical stave. 12 music a series of notes forming a melody. 13 colloq a short letter or note drop him a line . 14 a series or group of people coming one after the other, especially in the same family or profession from a long line of doctors . 15 a field of activity, interest, study or work his line of business . 16 a course or way of acting, behaving, thinking or reasoning think along different lines . 17 the rules or limits of acceptable behaviour overstep the line . 18 a group or class of goods for sale a new line in tonic water . 19 a production line. 20 N Am, esp US a physical boundary the county line . 21 a figurative boundary or point of change a thin line between genius and madness . 22 one of several white marks outlining a pitch, racetrack, etc on a field goal line . 23 a single track for trains or trams. 24 a branch or route of a railway system. 25 a route, track or direction of movement line of fire . 26 a continuous system, eg of telephone cables, connecting one place with another. 27 a a telephone connection trying to get a line to Aberdeen ; b in compounds a telephone number that connects the caller to some kind of special service Childline . 28 a company running regular services of ships, buses or aircraft between two or more places. 29 an arrangement of troops or ships side by side and ready to fight. 30 (always lines) a connected series of military defences behind enemy lines . 31 the regular army. 32 one of several narrow horizontal bands forming a television picture. 33 (often the Line) the equator. 34 N Am a queue. 35 drug-taking slang a small amount of powdered drugs, usually cocaine, arranged in a narrow row, ready to be sniffed. 36 slang a remark, usually insincere, that someone uses in the hope of getting some kind of benefit He spun her a line . 37 Scot a short note written by someone in authority The doctor's line covered her absence . 38 (lines) Scot a licence or certificate, eg of marriage or of church membership. verb (lined , lining ) 1 to mark or cover something with lines. 2 to form a line along something Crowds lined the streets . [13c: from French ligne , combined with Anglo-Saxon line rope] all along the line at every point. be in someone's line to be the kind of thing someone is comfortable with Dealing with children is not in her line
. bring someone or something into line to make them or it conform. down the line 1 sport said of the action of a ball, shot or player: very close to the edge of the court or pitch. 2 colloq in the future. draw the line see under draw. end of the line colloq the point at which it is useless or impossible to carry on. get a line on someone or something colloq to get information about them or it. hard lines! colloq bad luck! in line for something likely to get it in line for promotion
. in line to someone in a line of succession second in line to the boss
. in line with someone or something in agreement or harmony with them or it. lay it on the line to speak frankly. lay or put something on the line to risk something, eg one's reputation or career. on or along the lines of something loosely following a specified way of doing it. on or along the right line or lines colloq approximately correct. out of line 1 not aligned. 2 impudent. 3 exhibiting unacceptable behaviour. read between the lines see under read. step out of line see under step. line up 1 to form a line. 2 to make a stand, eg in support of or against something. See line-up. line people or things up 1 to form them into a line. 2 to align them. line something up to organize it lined herself up a new job
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line2 verb 1 to cover the inside of (clothes, boxes, curtains, etc) with some other material. 2 to cover as if with a lining line the walls with books . 3 colloq to fill, especially with large amounts. [14c: Anglo-Saxon lin flax] lining noun 1 the action of inserting a lining into something. 2 the material used for lining something. line one's pocket or pockets to make a profit, especially by dishonest means.
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