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lineament

[lin-ee-uh-muh nt]
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noun
  1. Often lineaments. a feature or detail of a face, body, or figure, considered with respect to its outline or contour: His fine lineaments made him the very image of his father.
  2. Usually lineaments. distinguishing features; distinctive characteristics: the lineaments of sincere repentance.
  3. Geology. a linear topographic feature of regional extent that is believed to reflect underlying crustal structure.
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Origin of lineament

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin līneāmentum a stroke, plural, features, equivalent to līneā(re) to draw a line (derivative of līnea; see line1) + -mentum -ment
Related formslin·e·a·men·tal [lin-ee-a-men-tl] /ˌlɪn i æˈmɛn tl/, adjectivelin·e·a·men·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lineament

Historical Examples

  • The light of the fire was upon it, and its every lineament was revealed distinctly.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • I had ample time to scan his features and canvass their every lineament.

  • "I am stopping it," Dunark stated quietly, grim purpose in every lineament.

    Skylark Three

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • I should not have recognized him had we met in the street, so altered was every lineament.

  • Compared with the original, at last—in every lineament how like it was!


British Dictionary definitions for lineament

lineament

noun (often plural)
  1. a facial outline or feature
  2. a distinctive characteristic or feature
  3. geology any long natural feature on the surface of the earth, such as a fault, esp as revealed by aerial photography
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Derived Formslineamental (ˌlɪnɪəˈmɛntəl), adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Latin: line, from līneāre to draw a line
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 lineament

n.

early 15c., "distinctive feature of the body, outline," from Middle French lineament, from Latin lineamentum "contour, outline," literally "a line, stroke, mark," from lineare "to reduce to a straight line," from linea (see line (n.)). Figurative sense of "a characteristic" is attested from 1630s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper