plumb line


: a line (as of cord) that has at one end a weight (such as a plumb bob) and is used especially to determine verticality
: a line directed to the center of gravity of the earth : a vertical line

Examples of plumb line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like a weighted plumb line, his memories of their day together sank him into a deep, tranquil sleep. Elliot Ackerman, WIRED, 9 Feb. 2024 No one knew what kinda plumb line–astrolabe–compass had brought them to land. Lawrence Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 Conceived around the simple concept of a plumb line, the pieces play with the house’s signature use of negative space, with typical restraint. Sarah Royce-Greensill, Robb Report, 27 Jan. 2023 Every two weeks, a dam employee enters one of the four concrete intake towers and lowers a plumb line down to the water level to take an exact measurement. Joshua Partlow, Anchorage Daily News, 29 June 2022 Since that's often not the case, Rees recommends drawing a plumb line, basically a guideline to ensure your wallpaper is aligned. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 4 Dec. 2020 Make sure the paper's edge is flush with the plumb line to start, then align subsequent strips with the strip before them. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, 4 Dec. 2020 Four weighted plumb lines hung from the ends of the arms. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 7 Dec. 2019 Then gently unroll the paper strips onto the wall, working your way from top to bottom, and keeping the edge of the paper aligned with the plumb line. Daniel Bortz, sacbee, 15 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of plumb line was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near plumb line

Cite this Entry

“Plumb line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

plumb line

: a line that has a weight (as a plumb bob) at one end and is used to find out whether something is vertical or to measure depth

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