lin·​e·​ar | \ ˈli-nē-ər How to pronounce linear (audio) \

Definition of linear

1a(1) : of, relating to, resembling, or having a graph that is a line and especially a straight line : straight
(2) : involving a single dimension
b(1) : of the first degree with respect to one or more variables
c(1) : characterized by an emphasis on line linear art
(2) : composed of simply drawn lines with little attempt at pictorial representation linear script
d : consisting of a straight chain of atoms a linear molecule
2 : elongated with nearly parallel sides linear leaf — see leaf illustration
3 : having or being a response or output that is directly proportional to the input
4 : of, relating to, or based or depending on sequential development linear thinking a linear narrative

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Other Words from linear

linearity \ ˌli-​nē-​ˈer-​ə-​tē How to pronounce linearity (audio) , -​ˈa-​rə-​ \ noun
linearly \ ˈli-​nē-​ər-​lē How to pronounce linearly (audio) \ adverb

Examples of linear in a Sentence

a flat, almost linear horizon the bullets from early firearms were notorious for not following a strictly linear path through the air
Recent Examples on the Web This is partly because Lexus relaxed the engine's throttle tuning for a more linear feel, but the recalibration makes the RC F feel slower than its 472 horsepower suggests. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Lexus RC F Still Needs to Lose Weight," 26 June 2020 For a company as disruptive as Amazon, investing more money into something like traditional linear television feels odd. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Streaming is the future, but Amazon wants to invest in live TV. Here’s why," 24 June 2020 The tax currently funds Edwards Aquifer protection and the maintenance of linear parks. Bruce Selcraig,, "San Antonio city manager casts doubt on VIA’s dire budget warnings," 23 June 2020 Other matrices perform different kinds of linear transformations, such as reflections, rotations and shears. Quanta Magazine, "The ‘Useless’ Perspective That Transformed Mathematics," 9 June 2020 Visual cues and linear foot-traffic lanes that ask families to travel in pods will be familiar to anyone who has shopped in a grocery store recently. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "Museums are ready to reopen, but concerts and theaters face uncertainty," 24 Apr. 2020 With the exception of a few outliers, like New Hampshire, where wine consumption is high (close to 20 liters per person) but votes for Trump were also relatively high (46.5%), the data follow a more or less linear pattern. Esther Mobley,, "Bay Area vintners’ support of Trump clashes with politics of most wine drinkers," 15 June 2020 Ten additional linear miles were added to the fire's length on Friday, with the Coconino County Sheriff's Office issuing an evacuation notice for the Jacob Lake area late Friday afternoon. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Arizona wildfires: Magnum Fire near Grand Canyon, Bighorn Fire outside Tucson continue to grow," 14 June 2020 The kitchen is open to the informal dining area and the family room, which features a linear fireplace set in a stone wall. Dallas News, "Garvey Homes readies five-bedroom home in North Dallas area," 31 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of linear

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Time Traveler for linear

Time Traveler

The first known use of linear was circa 1656

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Statistics for linear

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Linear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for linear


How to pronounce linear (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of linear

: formed by lines : made up of lines
: forming a line
: of or relating to the length of something


lin·​ear | \ ˈli-nē-ər How to pronounce linear (audio) \

Kids Definition of linear

1 : made up of, relating to, or like a line : straight
2 : involving a single dimension


lin·​ear | \ ˈlin-ē-ər How to pronounce linear (audio) \

Medical Definition of linear

: of, relating to, or resembling a line

Other Words from linear

linearity \ ˌlin-​ē-​ˈar-​ət-​ē How to pronounce linearity (audio) \ noun, plural linearities
linearly \ ˈlin-​ē-​ər-​lē How to pronounce linearly (audio) \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on linear

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for linear

Spanish Central: Translation of linear

Nglish: Translation of linear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of linear for Arabic Speakers

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