rec·​ti·​lin·​e·​ar | \ ˌrek-tə-ˈli-nē-ər How to pronounce rectilinear (audio) \

Definition of rectilinear

1 : moving in or forming a straight line rectilinear motion
2 : characterized by straight lines the rectilinear skyline of a modern city

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Other Words from rectilinear

rectilinearity \ ˌrek-​tə-​ˌli-​nē-​ˈer-​ə-​tē How to pronounce rectilinearity (audio) , -​ˈa-​rə-​tē \ noun
rectilinearly adverb

Examples of rectilinear in a Sentence

the rectilinear skyline of a modern city
Recent Examples on the Web Their rectilinear structures tempted children and adults alike, whether to squish their bodies between elements of a wall progression, climb inside a channel piece, or crouch beneath a single stack. Leslie Jamison, The Atlantic, "The Beating Pulse of Donald Judd," 31 Aug. 2020 Floor-to-ceiling windows that span the length of the rectilinear house are almost all north-facing, reducing direct sun exposure (and therefore heat) from the south. Laurel Benedum, ELLE Decor, "This Home of the Future Floats Over Water," 21 Apr. 2020 There’s a live-edge bar, whole swirly wall planks, overhead boards, rectilinear stalactites dangling in a fringe along the windows., "Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe," 18 Sep. 2019 Embrace curves: Many environmental psychology experts say that sharp, right angles are more stimulating to the brain than round shapes or ovals, and that having too many rectilinear forms in a room can stress us out. Megan Buerger, Washington Post, "Stressed out? Here are 10 science-backed design tips for bringing serenity to your home.," 28 Aug. 2019 Furniture and objects were typically made from readily available wood, with rectilinear forms, and finished only with oils or paint. Diana Budds, Curbed, "One of America’s most popular furniture styles was invented by a celibate religious sect," 21 June 2019 An apple-green glass guardrail on the balcony and three glass cubes used as outdoor lighting punctuate the rectilinear parameters with color. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "A Shoe Executive’s Long-Distance Run to His Oregon Abode," 11 July 2018 Sarah Crowner, known over the last decade for stitching together cutout shapes of plain or painted canvas to form rectilinear abstract paintings, is sticking to first principles. Roberta Smith, Martha Schwendener And Will Heinrich, New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 15 Mar. 2018 From the satellite view, urban spaces are also assumed to exhibit geometric spatial patterns, such as straight roads and contiguous, rectilinear buildings. Annette M. Kim, The Atlantic, "Satellite Images Can Harm the Poorest Citizens," 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rectilinear.' 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 rectilinear

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rectilinear

Late Latin rectilineus, from Latin rectus + linea line

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Time Traveler for rectilinear

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The first known use of rectilinear was in 1651

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rectilinear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for rectilinear


How to pronounce rectilinear (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rectilinear

technical : made with straight lines : having many straight lines

More from Merriam-Webster on rectilinear

Britannica English: Translation of rectilinear for Arabic Speakers

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