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

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 Neither of those versions made it to reality: all that’s left of Childs’ attempts at flair is a rectilinear base striated in limestone and dimpled on each facade. Justin Davidson, Daily Intelligencer, "Superhuman City," 18 Apr. 2018 Seemingly hauled up en masse, the forms are wired together and slapped onto a rectilinear steel support, like writhing refugees from a maritime disaster. Julia Couzens, sacbee, "A witty and deep showcase of Jewish artists' contributions to California art history | The Sacramento Bee," 6 Apr. 2018 Their rational, rectilinear creations, made of silver or pricey oak, won a following among imperial Vienna’s bourgeoisie, but perpetual cost overruns and the coming of war pushed the Wiener Werkstätte into decline. New York Times, "Art and Museums in NYC This Week," 14 Dec. 2017

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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Statistics for rectilinear

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for rectilinear

The first known use of rectilinear was in 1651

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More Definitions for rectilinear



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

Comments on rectilinear

What made you want to look up rectilinear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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