: providing an unambiguous criterion or guideline especially in law
a bright-line distinction

Examples of bright-line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And there’s one bright-line issue that many Northern Virginia Democrats said is fundamental to them: full Virginia funding for the Metro transit system. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2024 Because there are no bright-line rules for arguing fair use, Anthropic would need to present a strong case for its situation — likely involving the development of AI and the need for innovation. Tatjana Paterno, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Because some amount of discretion is needed in adjudicating these disputes, the absence of bright-line rules is a positive development. Robert Litan, Foreign Affairs, 16 Mar. 2016 The route to success in arguing a case before Justice O’Connor lay not in invoking legal doctrine or bright-line rules, but in marshaling the facts to demonstrate a decision’s potential impact. Linda Greenhouse, New York Times, 1 Dec. 2023 The new draft guidelines are not bright-line laws or regulations, and US antitrust enforcement will continue to reflect longstanding legal precedents, senior administration officials emphasized Tuesday in a call with reporters. Brian Fung, CNN, 19 July 2023 Whatever its justification, the explicit reference requirement is not the kind of straightforward, bright-line test that the Fiat judgment and Kokott’s Amazon opinion present it to be. Ryan Finley, Forbes, 17 July 2023 Still, Goldsmith Romero warned that the immaturity of the DeFi sector—and crypto more broadly—will mean that future cases will be based on facts and circumstances, rather than a bright-line rule about what constitutes decentralization. Leo Schwartz, Fortune Crypto, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bright-line.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1982, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bright-line was in 1982


Dictionary Entries Near bright-line

Cite this Entry

“Bright-line.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bright-line. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Legal Definition

bright line

: a clear distinction that resolves a question or matter in dispute
bright-line adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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