linear

adjective lin·e·ar \ ˈli-nē-ər \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of linear

1 a (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

linearity

play \ˌli-nē-ˈer-ə-tē, -ˈa-rə-\ noun

linearly

play \ˈli-nē-ər-lē\ adverb

Examples of linear in a Sentence

  1. a flat, almost linear horizon

  2. the bullets from early firearms were notorious for not following a strictly linear path through the air

Recent Examples of linear from the Web

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.

First Known Use of linear

circa 1656

Other Alphabet Terms


LINEAR Defined for English Language Learners

linear

adjective

Definition of linear for English Language Learners

  • : formed by lines : made up of lines

  • : forming a line

  • : of or relating to the length of something


LINEAR Defined for Kids

linear

adjective lin·ear \ ˈli-nē-ər \

Definition of linear for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

linear

adjective lin·ear \ ˈlin-ē-ər \

medical Definition of linear

: of, relating to, or resembling a line

linearity

play \ˌlin-ē-ˈar-ət-ē\ noun plural -ties

linearly

play \ˈlin-ē-ər-lē\ adverb


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