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[streem-lahyn] /ˈstrimˌlaɪn/
a teardrop line of contour offering the least possible resistance to a current of air, water, etc.
the path of a particle that is flowing steadily and without turbulence in a fluid past an object.
verb (used with object), streamlined, streamlining.
to make streamlined.
to alter in order to make more efficient or simple.
Origin of streamline
First recorded in 1870-75; stream + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for streamline
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The result was the first American "streamline" design for a shell.

  • Its purpose was to streamline the commercialization of a farm product, and in this effort it was highly successful.

    Frying Pan Farm Elizabeth Brown Pryor
  • They had streamline hulls and tails that embodied universal-jointed double fish-tail rudders.

    Armageddon--2419 A.D. Philip Francis Nowlan
  • "No wonder they streamline," he muttered as he saw the enormous force it took to drive the gigantic ship through this air.

    Invaders from the Infinite

    John Wood Campbell
  • The French had developed a mortar shell on the streamline principle which was invisible in flight and had twice the range of ours.

British Dictionary definitions for streamline


a contour on a body that offers the minimum resistance to a gas or liquid flowing around it
an imaginary line in a fluid such that the tangent at any point indicates the direction of the velocity of a particle of the fluid at that point
verb (transitive)
to make streamlined
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 streamline

1868, "line drawn from point to point, so that its direction is everywhere that of the motion of the fluid" [Lamb, "Hydrodynamics," 1906], from stream (n.) + line (n.). The adjective is attested from 1898, "free from turbulence," 1907 in sense of "shaped so that the flow around it is smooth."


1913, "give a streamline form to," from streamline (n.). From 1936 in the extended sense of "simplify and organize." Related: Streamlined; streamlining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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streamline in Science
To construct or reconstruct an object to reduce the amount of drag it undergoes as it moves through a fluid, especially air or water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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streamline in Culture

streamline definition

The line traced by a liquid or gas as it moves. Streamlines are most commonly used in describing the flow of a liquid or gas around a solid object.

Note: A “streamlined” design is one in which objects that move through a gas or liquid are shaped to match these lines, and therefore reduce the energy required to produce that motion.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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