[lahynz-muh n]

noun, plural lines·men.

  1. an official, as in tennis and soccer, who assists the referee.
  2. official who marks the distances gained and lost in the progress of play and otherwise assists the referee and field judge.
  3. Ice Hockey.either of two officials who assist the referee by watching for icing, offside, and substitution violations and fouls and by conducting face-offs.


Origin of linesman

First recorded in 1855–60; line1 + 's1 + -man Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for linesman

Contemporary Examples of linesman

Historical Examples of linesman

  • Why, youyouLook here, dont you know anything about the duties of a linesman?

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • The ball is in play if it touches the referee or a linesman when in the field of play.

  • Those days over, he enters the arena as Umpire, Referee or Linesman.

    Football Days

    William H. Edwards

  • The linesman is closely connected with the referee in every way, although his duties are not really arduous.

  • Lashed to a ring-bolt was a little, red-breeched French linesman, apparently dead.

    A Gallant Grenadier

    F.S. Brereton

British Dictionary definitions for linesman


noun plural -men

an official who helps the referee or umpire in various sports, esp by indicating when the ball has gone out of play
mainly British a person who installs, maintains, or repairs telephone or electric-power linesUS and Canadian name: lineman
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 linesman

1856, "soldier in a regiment of the line," from genitive of line (n.) + man (n.). Sports sense, in reference to umpires with specific duties in games with lines (originally tennis, also ice hockey) is from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper