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Moving in, consisting of, bounded by, or characterized by a straight line or lines: following a rectilinear path; rectilinear patterns in wallpaper.

[From Late Latin rēctilīneus : Latin rēctus, right; see reg- in Indo-European roots + Latin līnea, line; see line1.]

rec′ti·lin′e·ar·ly adv.


(ˌrɛktɪˈlɪnɪə) or


1. (Mathematics) in, moving in, or characterized by a straight line or lines: the rectilinear propagation of light.
2. (Mathematics) consisting of, bounded by, or formed by a straight line or lines
ˌrectiˈlinearly, ˌrectiˈlineally adv


(ˌrɛk tlˈɪn i ər)

also rec`ti•lin′e•al,

1. forming a straight line.
2. formed or characterized by straight lines.
3. moving in a straight line.
[1650–60; < Late Latin rēctilīne(us) (rēcti- recti- + -līneus, adj. derivative of Latin līnea line1) + -ar1]
rec`ti•lin′e•ar•ly, adv.


Relating to, consisting of, or moving in a straight line or lines: a rectilinear path.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.rectilinear - characterized by a straight line or lines; "rectilinear patterns in wallpaper"; "the rectilinear propagation of light"
linear, one-dimensional - of or in or along or relating to a line; involving a single dimension; "a linear measurement"


[ˌrektɪˈlɪnɪəʳ] ADJrectilíneo


[ˌrɛktɪˈlɪnɪəʳ] adjrettilineo/a
rectilinear motion → moto rettilineo
References in classic literature ?
The massive walking-beam rose and fell above the deck; at one end a piston-rod worked up and down; and at the other was a connecting-rod which, in changing the rectilinear motion to a circular one, was directly connected with the shaft of the paddles.
The rectilinear movement has thus become changed into a circular motion of extreme velocity, and it is now pursuing an elliptical orbit round the moon, of which it has become a true satellite.
Belfast and Maston-- that it had deviated from its course from some unknown cause, and had not reached its destination; but that it had passed near enough to be retained by the lunar attraction; that its rectilinear movement had been changed to a circular one, and that following an elliptical orbit round the star of night it had become its satellite.
Depending on the reach and scope of the welding job, manufacturers can choose between articulating robots and rectilinear robots.
The package, one of only 13 winners in the global design competition's packaging category, has an unusual rectilinear structure, aluminum plate appointments, minimalist branding, and other bold design choices that reinvent every aspect of hair care packaging to instantly communicate Patricks' premium positioning.
These rectilinear light boxes are covered with acrylic that is backlit with LEDs to create thin, strip-like representations of the flags.
The Dubai 360 team also developed a custom interface for the website, which enables viewers to interact with Dubai's landmarks providing a number of viewing options including rectilinear and aACAyLittle Planet or fish eye' view.
The company recently invested Au200,000 in new immersion ultrasonic equipment the ScanMaster LS-500 for inspecting rectilinear discs.
rectilinear hole as if the digging alone could constitute
The averaged line of antipodal coefficients (KA) is drawn excluding Antarctica and South America, the rectilinear correlation coefficients (r)-excluding South America.
A series of long terraces of small segmental rectilinear units all fronting the harbour to the west, the sea to the south or the estuary to the east and it was in that order that phases - dependent on market conditions and sales - were built; it was the time of the three-day-week and the sale of one block allowing the next to proceed.
While studying and videotaping the movements of 20 different species at Zoo Atlanta, Marvi developed Scalybot 2, a robot that replicates rectilinear locomotion of snakes.