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airline

[air-lahyn]
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noun
  1. Aeronautics.
    1. a system furnishing air transport, usually scheduled, between specified points.
    2. the airplanes, airports, etc., of such a system.
    3. Often airlines.a company that owns or operates such a system.
  2. a direct line; beeline.
  3. an airhose used to pipe air to a deep-sea diver, pneumatic drill, etc.
adjective
  1. of or on an airline.

Origin of airline

First recorded in 1910–15; air1 + line1

air-line

[air-lahyn]
adjective
  1. straight; direct; traveling a direct route: Some railroads advertise air-line routes between stations.

Origin of air-line

An Americanism dating back to 1805–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for airline

airline

noun
    1. a system or organization that provides scheduled flights for passengers or cargo
    2. (as modifier)an airline pilot
  1. a hose or tube carrying air under pressure
  2. mainly US a beeline
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for airline

n.

also air-line, 1813, "beeline, straight line from place to place" (as through the air, rather than over terrain; in later 19c. especially in reference to railways that ran directly between big cities in the U.S. instead of meandering from town to town in search of stock subscriptions as early railways typically did), from air (n.1) + line (n.). Meaning "public aircraft transportation company" is from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper