lineal

adjective

lin·​e·​al ˈli-nē-əl How to pronounce lineal (audio)
1
: linear
2
: composed of or arranged in lines
3
a
: consisting of or being in a direct male or female line of ancestry compare collateral sense 2
b
: relating to or derived from ancestors : hereditary
c
: descended in a direct line
4
a
: belonging to one lineage
lineal relatives
b
: of, relating to, or dealing with a lineage
lineality noun
lineally adverb

Examples of lineal in a Sentence

He claims that he is a lineal descendent of a famous military hero.
Recent Examples on the Web In his professional boxing debut, Ngannou dropped Fury and lost a close decision to the lineal champion. Brian Mazique, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 The Cherokee Nation, one of the two largest Native groups in the United States, will accept anyone who can prove some lineal descent in specific records. Jay Caspian Kang, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 Each tribe determines its own enrollment, but a common requirement is lineal descendancy from someone on the tribal roll. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Eager to ditch the heretical Treaty of Moscow, his negotiators produced New START — the lineal descendant of two earlier SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) and three START agreements — which entered into force in February 2011 for ten years, extendable once for five more. John R. Bolton, National Review, 25 Jan. 2024 The federal law also demands the remains return to the proper lineal descendants, Indian tribe officials or traditional religious leaders. Ben Brasch, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 The week before the resort opened, as part of a handoff ceremony, one of the lineal descendants collected water from the spot where the freshwater flows from its underground channel in the lava into the ocean, then mixed it into a drink shared by the descendants and the resort’s managers. Chloe Schama, Vogue, 7 Aug. 2023 Reporters only considered evidence of slaveholding that occurred after the founding of the U.S. Journalists also limited their research to direct lineal descendants of the present-day elite rather than building sprawling family trees that included distant cousins. Reuters, NBC News, 27 June 2023 As a result, the Department of Interior in January announced proposals to improve NAGPRA by, among other things, emphasizing that museums consult with tribes at every step of the process and defer to the customs and knowledge of tribes and their lineal descendants. Kathleen Sharp For Propublica, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lineal.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lineal was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lineal

Cite this Entry

“Lineal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lineal. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

lineal

adjective
lin·​eal
ˈlin-ē-əl
1
: linear
lineal measure
2
a
: consisting of or being in a direct line of descent
lineally
-ē-ə-lē
adverb

Legal Definition

lineal

adjective
lin·​e·​al ˈli-nē-əl How to pronounce lineal (audio)
: consisting of or being in a direct male or female line of ancestry
a lineal descendant
compare collateral sense 2

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