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as·​sem·​bly-line ə-ˈsem-blē-ˌlīn How to pronounce assembly-line (audio)
: made by or as if by an assembly line
especially : lacking originality or creativity
bored by the novel's assembly-line plot

assembly line

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: an arrangement of machines, equipment, and workers in which work passes from operation to operation in direct line until the product is assembled
: a process for turning out a finished product in a mechanically efficient manner
academic assembly lines

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
The Endurance launches off the assembly line — at less than 6.5 seconds 0-60 mph — in late 2022. cleveland, 12 Nov. 2022 In the kitchen, the mostly Mexican and Guatemalan women formed an assembly line. Shira Moolten, Sun Sentinel, 8 Oct. 2022 And then a bunch of us from our community got together one night and set up this assembly line and packaged these little kits. James Brown, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2022 That backyard is where, every Friday, the women form an assembly line and empty with impressive efficiency a truck filled with fresh produce and other goods, and then make sure everyone in the trailer park who needs food gets it. Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2022 In the case of the Arnage R, Bentley caught word that quite a few vehicles had left the assembly line with the wrong wheel nuts. Matt Crisara, Popular Mechanics, 10 Aug. 2022 Like other auto makers, Rivian is confronting rising raw material costs, particularly on ingredients needed to manufacture batteries, and troubles securing enough semiconductors and other parts to fully run the assembly line. Sean Mclain, WSJ, 11 May 2022 The 21-year-old employee who spoke to the Journal and who worked on an assembly line making an older iPhone version, said he had been confined to his quarters since Oct. 17, along with thousands of others. Wenxin Fan And Selina Cheng, WSJ, 30 Oct. 2022 Courtesy of The Allen Institute To Hubel and Wiesel, the brain looked like an assembly line: groups of neurons, each specialized for a specific role, dividing and conquering each task. WIRED, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assembly-line.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


1925, in the meaning defined above


1914, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of assembly-line was in 1914

Dictionary Entries Near assembly-line

assembly line



Cite this Entry

“Assembly-line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

assembly line

: an arrangement of machines, equipment, and workers in which work passes from operation to operation in direct line until the product is assembled

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