• synonyms


or rec·ti·lin·e·al

See more synonyms for rectilinear on Thesaurus.com
  1. forming a straight line.
  2. formed by straight lines.
  3. characterized by straight lines.
  4. moving in a straight line.
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Origin of rectilinear

1650–60; < Late Latin rēctilīne(us) (rēcti- recti- + līne(a) line1 + -us adj. suffix) + -ar1
Related formsrec·ti·lin·e·ar·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for rectilinear

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for rectilinear



  1. in, moving in, or characterized by a straight line or linesthe rectilinear propagation of light
  2. consisting of, bounded by, or formed by a straight line or lines
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Derived Formsrectilinearly or rectilineally, adverb
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 rectilinear


"forming a straight line," 1650s, with -ar + rectiline (1560s), from Late Latin rectilineus, from rectus "straight" (see right (adj.1)) + linea "line" (see line (n.)). Related: Rectilineal (1640s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rectilinear in Science


  1. Relating to, consisting of, or moving in a straight line or lines.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.