on the line

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line 1

1. Mathematics A geometric figure formed by a point moving along a fixed direction and the reverse direction.
a. A thin continuous mark, as that made by a pen, pencil, or brush applied to a surface.
b. A similar mark cut or scratched into a surface.
c. A crease in the skin, especially on the face; a wrinkle.
a. A real or imaginary mark positioned in relation to fixed points of reference.
b. A degree or circle of longitude or latitude drawn on a map or globe.
c. The equator. Used with the.
a. A border or boundary: the county line.
b. A demarcation: a line of darker water beyond the reef.
c. A contour or an outline: the line of the hills against the evening sky.
a. A mark used to define a shape or represent a contour.
b. Any of the marks that make up the formal design of a picture.
a. A cable, rope, string, cord, or wire.
b. Nautical A rope used aboard a ship.
c. A fishing line.
d. A clothesline.
e. A cord or tape used, as by builders or surveyors, for measuring, leveling, or straightening.
7. A pipe or system of pipes for conveying a fluid: gas lines.
8. An electric-power transmission cable.
a. A wire or system of wires connecting telephone or telegraph systems.
b. An open or functioning telephone connection: tried to get a free line.
a. A passenger or cargo system of public or private transportation, as by ship, aircraft, or bus, usually over a definite route.
b. A company owning or managing such a system.
a. A railway track or system of tracks.
b. A particular section of a railway network: the Philadelphia-Trenton line.
12. A course of progress or movement; a route: a line of flight.
a. A general method, manner, or course of procedure: different lines of thought; took a hard line on defense.
b. A manner or course of procedure determined by a specified factor: development along socialist lines.
c. An official or prescribed policy: the party line.
14. often lines A general concept or model: a trilogy along the lines of the Oresteia.
a. The condition of being in proper or aligned position: Is the table in line with the sofa?
b. A condition of agreement or correspondence: Your attitude is in line with mine. Is the policy in line with reality?
a. One's trade, occupation, or field of interest: What line of work are you in?
b. Range of competence: not in my line.
17. Merchandise or services of a similar or related nature: carries a complete line of small tools.
18. A group of persons or things arranged in a row or series: long lines at the box office; a line of stones.
a. Ancestry or lineage.
b. A series of persons, especially from one family, who succeed each other: a line of monarchs; comes from a long line of bankers.
c. A strain, as of livestock or plants, developed and maintained by selective breeding.
a. A sequence of related things that leads to a certain ending: a line of argument.
b. An ordered system of operations that allows a sequential manufacture or assembly of goods at all or various stages of production.
c. The personnel of an organization or a business who actually make a product or perform a service.
21. A horizontal row of printed or written words or symbols.
22. One of the horizontal scans forming a television image.
23. A brief letter; a note: I'll drop you a line.
a. A unit of verse ending in a visual or typographic break and generally characterized by its length and meter: a line of iambic pentameter.
b. A unit of uninterrupted text spoken by an actor: spent the weekend learning her lines.
25. Informal Glib or insincere talk, usually intended to deceive or impress: He kept on handing me a line about how busy he is.
26. lines Chiefly British
a. A marriage certificate.
b. A usually specified number of lines of prose or verse to be written out by a pupil as punishment.
27. Games A horizontal demarcation on a scorecard in bridge dividing the honor score from the trick score.
a. A source of information.
b. The information itself: got a line on the computer project.
a. Music One of the five parallel marks constituting a staff.
b. A sustained melodic or harmonic part in a piece: strained to hear the tenor line.
a. A formation in which elements, such as troops, tanks, or ships, are arranged abreast of one another.
b. The battle area closest to the enemy; the front.
c. The combat troops or warships at the front, arrayed for defense or offense.
d. The regular forces of an army or a navy, in contrast to staff and support personnel.
e. The class of officers in direct command of warships or of army combat units.
f. A bulwark or trench.
g. An extended system of such fortifications or defenses: the Siegfried line.
31. Sports
a. A foul line.
b. A real or imaginary mark demarcating a specified section of a playing area or field.
c. A real or imaginary mark or point at which a race begins or ends.
d. The center and two wings making up a hockey team's offensive unit.
e. Football A line of scrimmage.
f. Football The linemen considered as a group.
32. Informal The odds a bookmaker gives, especially for sports events.
33. The proportion of an insurance risk assumed by a particular underwriter or company.
34. Slang An amount of powdered cocaine arranged in a thin, long strip for snorting.
v. lined, lin·ing, lines
1. To mark, incise, or cover with a line or lines.
2. To represent with lines.
3. To place in a series or row.
4. To form a bordering line along: Small stalls lined the alley.
5. Baseball To hit (a ball) sharply so that it flies low and fast.
v.intr. Baseball
To hit a line drive: lined out to shortstop.
Phrasal Verb:
line up
1. To arrange in or form a line.
2. Football To take one's position in a formation before a snap or kickoff.
3. To organize or make ready: lined up considerable support for the bill.
4. To engage or schedule: lined up some freelance work for next month; lined up a speaker for graduation.
all along the line
1. In every place.
2. At every stage or moment.
down the line
1. All the way; throughout: Errors are to be found down the line.
2. At a point or an end in the future.
in line for
Next in order for: in line for the presidency.
on the line
1. Ready or available for immediate payment.
2. So as to be risked; in jeopardy: "Careers were on the line once again" (Seymour M. Hersh).
out of line
1. Uncalled-for; improper.
2. Unruly and out of control.

[Middle English, from Old English līne and from Old French ligne, both from Latin līnea, string, cord, from feminine of līneus, of linen, from līnum, thread, linen; see lī̆no- in Indo-European roots.]

line 2

tr.v. lined, lin·ing, lines
1. To fit a covering to the inside surface of: a coat lined with fur.
2. To cover the inner surface of: Moisture lined the walls of the cave.
3. To fill plentifully, as with money or food.
line (one's) pockets
To make a profit, especially by illegitimate means.

[Middle English linen, from line, flax, linen cloth, from Old English līn, from Latin līnum; see lī̆no- in Indo-European roots.]
References in classic literature ?
In order to see how nearly I could guess, with this experience, at the deepest point in a pond, by observing the outlines of a surface and the character of its shores alone, I made a plan of White Pond, which contains about forty-one acres, and, like this, has no island in it, nor any visible inlet or outlet; and as the line of greatest breadth fell very near the line of least breadth, where two opposite capes approached each other and two opposite bays receded, I ventured to mark a point a short distance from the latter line, but still on the line of greatest length, as the deepest.
Finest engine we've got on the line, and the best driver.
It is clearly essential to the interest of this theory that the thought or rule alluded to by Buhler should not need to be expressed in words, for if it is expressed in words it is immediately capable of being dealt with on the lines with which the behaviourists have familiarized us.