[ lahyn-out ]

  1. a procedure for putting an out-of-bounds ball back in play, whereby a player outside the touchline tosses the ball high and between two lines of opposing forwards lined up perpendicular to the touchline.

Origin of line-out

First recorded in 1885–90; noun use of verb phrase line out to form a line, line up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use line-out in a sentence

  • It's possible, as I think it over, that this one-line-out-of-context business has probably worked better in past elections.

    Um, About that Tack to the Center | Michael Tomasky | September 21, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Why don't you jump on the China Mail this afternoon; it connects with a good line out of Shanghai.

  • There has been such a thing as three over the line out of four starters, so great is the eagerness for a lead.

    Yachting Vol. 2 | Various.
  • The traffic soon became lucrative, and the Indians, except in time of war, protected the line out of friendship for Mr. Sibley.

  • He led me inshore, then up-shore, and out toward sea again, all the time fighting with a couple of hundred feet of line out.

    Tales of Fishes | Zane Grey
  • Now, however, try as I might, I could not get the line out to the distance required; it would not fall straight and true.

    Creatures of the Night | Alfred W. Rees

British Dictionary definitions for line-out


  1. rugby Union the method of restarting play when the ball goes into touch, the forwards forming two parallel lines at right angles to the touchline and jumping for the ball when it is thrown in

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