[lahyn-muh n]

noun, plural line·men.

Also linesman. a person who installs or repairs telephone, telegraph, or other wires.
Football. one of the players in the line, as a center, guard, tackle, or end.
Surveying. a person who marks the positions of a survey mark with a range pole or the like.

Origin of lineman

First recorded in 1855–60; line1 + -man
Related formsun·der·line·man, noun, plural un·der·line·men.

Usage note

See -man. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lineman

juicer, wireman, linesman

Examples from the Web for lineman

Contemporary Examples of lineman

Historical Examples of lineman

  • The lineman snorted and the operator saw that his appeal had fallen flat.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • It was only after a moment 92 that the lineman could be seen to gain.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • Down these the lineman, stubborn and bleeding, drove a desperate way.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • "I'll need a long rope," Neale had said to King, his lineman.

  • "I'll inform you later," replied Neale, turning to the lineman.

British Dictionary definitions for lineman


noun plural -men

another name for platelayer
a person who does the chaining, taping, or marking of points for a surveyor
Australian and NZ (formerly) the member of a beach life-saving team who controlled the line used to help drowning swimmers and surfers
American football a member of the row of players who start each down positioned on either side of the line of scrimmage
US and Canadian another word for linesman (def. 2)
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 lineman

1858, worker on telegraph (later telephone) lines, from line (n.) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper