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1. Not in a straight line.
2. Mathematics
a. Occurring as a result of an operation that is not linear.
b. Containing a variable with an exponent other than one. Used of an equation.
a. Of or relating to a system of equations whose effects are not proportional to their causes. Such a set of equations can be chaotic.
b. Of or relating to a device whose behavior is described by a set of nonlinear equations and whose output is not proportional to its input.
c. Of or relating to the output of such a device.

non·lin′e·ar′i·ty (-âr′ĭ-tē) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. not of, in, along, or relating to a line
2. (Film) denoting digital editing in which edits are saved on computer, rather than videotape, thus enabling further edits to be made
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.nonlinear - designating or involving an equation whose terms are not of the first degree
math, mathematics, maths - a science (or group of related sciences) dealing with the logic of quantity and shape and arrangement
additive, linear - designating or involving an equation whose terms are of the first degree
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Structure-Preserving Doubling Algorithms for Nonlinear Matrix Equations
This study was conducted to evaluate the most suitable nonlinear functions amongst Morgan-Mercer-Flodin (MMF), Logistic, Von-Bertalanffy and Janosheck models, based on monthly records of body weight from birth to 1 year in Daera Din Panah (DDP) goat.
The Schrodinger equation is often encountered in many branches of science and engineering, including quantum mechanics, nonlinear optics, plasma physics, hydrodynamics, and superconductivity.
The parameters from (1) were extracted using the nonlinear fitting technique on a single I-V curve [18,19].
Nonlinear ultrasonic method has a powerful ability to characterize microstructural features in materials.
Generation of four-wave mixing (FWM) in highly nonlinear low-dispersion fibers was intensively studied, so it can be utilized as an optical source for wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) system [1-4].
The nonlinear ultrasonic technique has shown the ability to evaluate the fatigue damage [17] and plastic deformation [18] of metal material which has a close relationship with the microstructure evolution of material.
The study of chaotic motion in nonlinear systems has been a popular area of research during the last few decades.
These laminated plates are usually fixed by nonlinear restraints, which include gap and spring in series, bilinear spring, softening and hardening system, flexible pads, and in-plane friction.
However, for the realization of true all-optical signal processing, the optical system needs to have nonlinear properties.
Most of the physical, biological, chemical, economical systems are nonlinear in the real world.