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a linear measurement
  relating to a line


describing a proportional relationship that can be graphed with a straight line (described mathematically as an equation whose terms are of the first degree)


more rarely:  a straightforward sequence such as "linear thinking"
 Mark word for later review on this computer
linear linearly linearity
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  • a linear measurement
  • Frequently, there’s a linear relationship between effort and results.
  • linear amplifier
  • The book is written linearly, but the screenplay made heavy use of flashbacks.

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  • Or how about a linear accelerator, just a small one so I can split a few atoms?
    Rodman Philbrick  --  Freak the Mighty
  • There below her was the same row of identical houses they had seen before, and beyond these the linear buildings of the city.
    Madeleine L’Engle  --  A Wrinkle in Time
  • Which is drawn linearly, long and narrow.
    Gary D. Schmidt  --  Okay for Now
  • Normally, the simulation progresses in a linear fashion, isolating one faction by ruling out the rest.
    Veronica Roth  --  Divergent
  • Maybe, in heaven, time isn’t linear.
    Todd Burpo  --  Heaven Is for Real
  • Choppy, boxy, blind, and linear.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  The Host

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  • These are described by what are called linear equations, and mathematicians can solve those equations easily.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • In some instances, to the quick, observant eye, those linear marks, as in a veritable engraving, but afford the ground for far other delineations.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Although the altar layout resembled that of a linear Christian chapel, the furnishings were stark and cold, bearing none of the traditional ornamentation.
    Dan Brown  --  The Da Vinci Code
  • Keeping faith with our great and in some ways disastrous tradition, he pursues his linear course and sets out once more on the cruel sea.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • ’There’s this belief,’ he interrupted, ’that you can explain only the last moment in time, linearly’but that everything leading up to it might have come from any series of events.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
  • The second, even more intriguing implication of this, is that nicotine addiction isn’t a linear phenomenon.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  The Tipping Point
  • The recent decipherment of the so-called ’linear B’ script of Bronze Age Mycenae and Crete has revealed no literature.
    Unknown  --  The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • Her mind, freed of any linear order by encroaching sleep, floated past the first year at Stovington, past the steadily worsening times that had reached low ebb when her husband had broken Danny’s arm, to that morning in the breakfast nook.
    Stephen King  --  The Shining
  • If they were made by a ball-peen hammer you can see that, too—a ball-peen leaves behind a crescent-shaped injury, a crowbar leaves, well, linear wounds with V-shaped ends.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • The Semites also had in common a linear view of history.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • He was linear, solemn, and had a pensive air and the sadness of a Saracen and a mournful glow on his face that was the color of autumn.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Most children recognize the hypocrisy of emphasizing a linear, clean and de-sexed past while they confront daily the muddy, uncertain and hybrid truths.
    Luis J. Rodriguez  --  Always Running
  • His 1958 paper on linear viral transformations opened broad new lines of scientific inquiry, particularly among the Pasteur Institute group in Paris, which subsequently won the Nobel Prize in 1966.
    Michael Crichton  --  The Andromeda Strain
  • His fluid sense of time made pinning down the exact sequence of many events in this book almost impossible, as did interviewing the Balti people with whom he works, who have no tenses in their language and as little attachment to linear time as the man they call Dr. Greg.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • Shay looked at me as if I were the one who couldn’t follow a linear conversation.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Change of Heart
  • The first-degree equation (the linear equation): 3x-9 = 0 (root: x = 3) CHAPTER 1.
    Stieg Larsson  --  The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • The experts have been telling me recovery is not always linear, but I’m a natural skeptic and, besides, Nathaniel is making progress.
    Steve Lopez  --  The Soloist
  • From Roundwood reservoir in county Wicklow of a cubic capacity of 2400 million gallons, percolating through a subterranean aqueduct of filter mains of single and double pipeage constructed at an initial plant cost of 5 pounds per linear yard by way of the Dargle, Rathdown, Glen of the Downs and Callowhill to the 26 acre reservoir at Stillorgan, a distance of 22 statute miles, and thence, through a system of relieving tanks, by a gradient of 250 feet to the city boundary at Eustace…
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • that something, perhaps only her linearly fading drunkenness, would protect her.
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • It had grown linear again, like a horse crossing a field.
    John Gardner  --  The Sunlight Dialogues
  • 1 was mad, really mad, as Zack shrunk his linear brown body down onto the sofa.
    Peter Jenkins  --  A Walk Across America
  • This means the horses on the outside have a faster linear speed than those at the hub.
    Annenberg Learner  --  Amusement Park Physics
  • The path of the bullet was all very linear and neat.
    Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard  --  Killing Kennedy
  • I kept the narrative linear.
    Alice Sebold  --  Lucky
  • At the foot of our street, Churchill Road, a linear green park and paved trail stretched for miles along the waterfront.
    John Grogan  --  Marley & Me
  • The light, as it grew, began to show the upper field, while the distant hedge and brook remained dark, linear shapes below.
    Richard Adams  --  Watership Down
  • A powerful disturbance is moving through the flame, leaving a linear trail in the light, like a cosmic ray fired through a cloud chamber.
    Neal Stephenson  --  Snow Crash
  • There are those who see social/economic/ecological problems as malfunctions which can be corrected by simple repair, replacement, or streamlining, a kind of linear outlook where even innovations are considered to be merely additive.
    Roger Zelazny  --  My Name is Legion
  • The lines of print, the alphabetic characters, the strokes of the shovel when I cleared a walk, the linear arrangement of words on a page, the shovel strokes, the rote exercises in school texts, the novels I read, the dictionaries I found in the tiny library, the nature and shape of books, the routine of shovel strokes in deep snow—this was how I began to build an individual.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • He could read and write in twenty-two of them though there wasn’t much chance to practice his Linear B, cuneiform or hieroglyphics these days.
    Micheal Scott  --  The Alchemyst
  • The Stanford Linear Accelerator 3-Day Particle-Smashing Diet.
    Don DeLillo  --  White Noise
  • As Alaska zipped through something obvious about linear equations, stoner/baller Hank Walsten said, "Wait, wait.
    John Green  --  Looking for Alaska
  • That’s linear dynamics.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • It is an ancient place belonging to another time zone where, we guess, human life was part of the circular life of nature that men left behind them when they set out on their restless linear course.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • Linearity is an artificial way of viewing the world.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • And chaos theory teaches us," Malcolm said, "that straight linearity, which we have come to take for granted in everything from physics to fiction, simply does not exist.
    Michael Crichton  --  Jurassic Park
  • Shay was standing at the front of his house now, preaching to his congregation, disconnected from linear thought and everything but his moment of grandstanding.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Change of Heart
  • He was more influenced by the linear view of history as we meet it in the Old Testament: the idea that God needs all of history in order to realize his Kingdom of God.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • With linear obstinacy they grew louder.
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • About ten feet past that, on the same linear path, was the body of Matt Royston.
    Jodi Picoult  --  Nineteen Minutes
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Associated words [difficulty]:   linear [4]
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