[ klahyn ]
/ klaɪn /
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Biology. the gradual change in certain characteristics exhibited by members of a series of adjacent populations of organisms of the same species.
Linguistics. (in systemic linguistics) a scale of continuous gradation; continuum.
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Origin of cline
1935–40; <Greek klī́nein to lean1
OTHER WORDS FROM clineclinal, adjectiveclin·al·ly, adverb
Other definitions for cline (2 of 2)
[ klahyn ]
/ klaɪn /
Patsy Virginia Patterson Hensley, 1932–63, U.S. country singer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cline in a sentence
They were placed in the Union depot to guard the ammunition, Captain Clines at the head?
I couldn't believe it, because I know Colonel Clines ain't going to block himself up in a cage.
Various characters are subject to geographic variation, and some of them follow clines that are maintained over extensive areas.Natural History of the Racer Coluber constrictor|Henry S. Fitch
The relative length of tail also provides gradients or clines.
Also there are geographic gradients or clines, in number of folds.
British Dictionary definitions for cline (1 of 3)
/ (klaɪn) /
a continuous variation in form between members of a species having a wide variable geographical or ecological range
Derived forms of clineclinal, adjectiveclinally, adverb
Word Origin for cline
C20: from Greek klinein to lean
British Dictionary definitions for cline (2 of 3)
/ (klaɪn) /
Patsy, original name Virginia Patterson Hensley . 1932–63, US country singer; her bestselling records include "Walking After Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", and "Leavin' On Your Mind"
British Dictionary definitions for cline (3 of 3)
n combining form
indicating a slopeanticline
Derived forms of -cline-clinal, adj combining form
Word Origin for -cline
back formation from incline
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
Scientific definitions for cline
[ klīn ]
A gradual change in an inherited characteristic across the geographic range of a species, usually correlated with an environmental transition such as altitude, temperature, or moisture. For example, the body size in a species of warm-blooded animals tends to be larger in cooler climates (a latitudinal cline), while the flowering time of a plant may tend to be later at higher altitudes (an altitudinal cline). In species in which the gene flow between adjacent populations is high, the cline is typically smooth, whereas in populations with restricted gene flow the cline usually occurs as a series of relatively abrupt changes from one group to the next.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.