a direct route traveled quickly (usually in the phrase make a beeline for): The minute he came home he made a beeline for the refrigerator.

Origin of beeline

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30; bee1 + line1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for beeline

Contemporary Examples of beeline

Historical Examples of beeline

  • This they can see for a long distance as he makes a beeline for his home.

  • He waggled his wings, then turned and made a beeline for the city.

    The Golden Skull

    John Blaine

  • Its almost a beeline, Andy, and the Racing Star is built for speed.

    Airship Andy

    Frank V. Webster

  • "We'd better head for the hotel on a beeline," Scotty suggested.

    The Egyptian Cat Mystery

    Harold Leland Goodwin

  • I made a beeline for the cook house while they did that and filled up for three.

    The Killer

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for beeline



the most direct route between two places (esp in the phrase make a beeline for)
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 beeline

also bee-line, 1838, American English, from bee + line (n.), in reference to the supposed homing instinct of bees in the field.

TO LINE BEES is to track wild bees to their homes in the woods. One who follows this occupation is called a bee hunter. [Bartlett, 1859]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with beeline


see make a beeline for.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.