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[lahynz-muh n] /ˈlaɪnz mən/
noun, plural linesmen.
  1. an official, as in tennis and soccer, who assists the referee.
  2. Football. an official who marks the distances gained and lost in the progress of play and otherwise assists the referee and field judge.
  3. Ice Hockey. either of two officials who assist the referee by watching for icing, offside, and substitution violations and fouls and by conducting face-offs.
lineman (def 1).
Origin of linesman
First recorded in 1855-60; line1 + 's1 + -man Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for linesman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why, youyouLook here, dont you know anything about the duties of a linesman?

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour
  • The ball is in play if it touches the referee or a linesman when in the field of play.

    Association Football John Cameron
  • Those days over, he enters the arena as Umpire, Referee or linesman.

    Football Days William H. Edwards
  • The linesman is closely connected with the referee in every way, although his duties are not really arduous.

    Association Football John Cameron
  • Lashed to a ring-bolt was a little, red-breeched French linesman, apparently dead.

    A Gallant Grenadier F.S. Brereton
  • The whistle piped, a Claflin linesman stepped forward, swung a long leg and the battle was on.

    Left End Edwards Ralph Henry Barbour
  • The fullback falls across the line, the ball gripped in his convulsive hold, just as the linesman's whistle blows.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • His command consisted of five riflemen, a telephonist, a linesman, and two stretcher-bearers.

    Canada in Flanders, Volume II (of 3) Lord Max Aitken Beaverbrook
British Dictionary definitions for linesman


noun (pl) -men
an official who helps the referee or umpire in various sports, esp by indicating when the ball has gone out of play
(mainly Brit) a person who installs, maintains, or repairs telephone or electric-power lines US and Canadian name lineman
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
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Word Origin and History for linesman

1856, "soldier in a regiment of the line," from genitive of line (n.) + man (n.). Sports sense, in reference to umpires with specific duties in games with lines (originally tennis, also ice hockey) is from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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