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 rectilinear (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 The circa 1870s brick facade remains intact, but behind it the home explodes into a three-story rectilinear white form punctuated by a line of windows. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2022 Moreover, the distortion effect is ever elusive to the onlooker: each and every line that looks warped in one’s visual periphery becomes rectilinear when viewed directly. Scientific American, 15 Feb. 2022 In the Warped Grid Illusion, the high spatial frequencies arise from the rectilinear grid, and the low spatial frequencies from the designs formed by cobblestones of like colors. Scientific American, 15 Feb. 2022 Most of the 10-story building is sheathed in glass windows arranged in a strict rectilinear pattern — a very contemporary look — but the ground floor is more sinuous, which evokes off a midcentury vibe. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 22 Nov. 2021 The perforated paper then became a negative for printing a rectilinear abstraction—a monochrome Mondrian. Richard B. Woodward, WSJ, 16 June 2021 Gordon Bunshaft, chief architect of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, designed the low, sleekly rectilinear building, which opened in 1957, and Florence Knoll conjured interiors that elided the difference between work and life. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 26 Apr. 2021 When the passenger elevator birthed the high-rise office building, the rectilinear matrix flowed up toward the clouds. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 26 Apr. 2021 Freud’s body, for instance, is conscribed by a rectilinear structure built around (or extending out of) a bed’s headboard. Sophie Madeline Dess, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2021 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near rectilinear



rectilinear coordinate

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Last Updated

29 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rectilinear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on rectilinear

Britannica English: Translation of rectilinear for Arabic Speakers


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