lin·​e·​al ˈli-nē-əl How to pronounce lineal (audio)
: linear
: composed of or arranged in lines
: consisting of or being in a direct male or female line of ancestry compare collateral sense 2
: relating to or derived from ancestors : hereditary
: descended in a direct line
: belonging to one lineage
lineal relatives
: of, relating to, or dealing with a lineage
lineality noun
lineally adverb

Example Sentences

He claims that he is a lineal descendent of a famous military hero.
Recent Examples on the Web But in the second fight, Fury, the lineal champion, won Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title. Branson Wright, cleveland, 4 Mar. 2020 But the lineal heavyweight champion didn’t stop there. cleveland, 23 Feb. 2020 The 6-foot-9 Fury, the lineal champion, weighed in at 273 Friday. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2020 Fury, from the United Kingdom and considered the lineal champion, is a traditional boxer with 20 knockouts and a 29-0 record. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, 20 Feb. 2020 Wilder will fight a Feb. 22 rematch against lineal champion Tyson Fury at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Ben Flanagan |, al, 31 Dec. 2019 The restaurant's signature burgers were supposedly lineal descendants of the ones at the now-defunct Band Box (since revived as The Box). Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Online, 31 Dec. 2019 Fury claims to be the lineal heavyweight champion and can make his case to be even more than that if his scheduled February rematch with Wilder goes off as planned. Creg Stephenson |, al, 23 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, Fury calls himself the lineal heavyweight champion, a claim based on his victory over Klitschko, whose career would end a couple of years later in a 2017 TKO loss to Joshua. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lineal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lineal was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lineal

Cite this Entry

“Lineal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: linear
lineal measure
: consisting of or being in a direct line of descent

Legal Definition


lin·​e·​al ˈli-nē-əl How to pronounce lineal (audio)
: consisting of or being in a direct male or female line of ancestry
a lineal descendant
compare collateral sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on lineal

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