water line

or wa·ter·line

  1. Nautical. the part of the outside of a ship's hull that is just at the water level.
  2. Naval Architecture. any of a series of lines on the hull plans of a vessel representing the level to which the vessel is immersed or the bottom of the keel.Compare load line, Plimsoll line.
  3. the line in which water at its surface borders upon a floating body.
  4. water level(def 2).
  5. Also called watermark. a line indicating the former level or passage of water: A water line all around the cellar served as a reminder of the flood.
  6. a pipe, hose, tube, or other line for conveying water.

Origin of water line

First recorded in 1615–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for waterline

Contemporary Examples of waterline

Historical Examples of waterline

  • One man said the ship had been struck above the waterline and would float.

    Tom Slade with the Colors

    Percy K. Fitzhugh

  • A moment later, and the whole schooner was ablaze, from waterline to masthead.

    The Black Buccaneer

    Stephen W. Meader

  • Five of the nine left of the Waterline outfit drove the herd.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • He had seen them before on their first unsuccessful trip to the Waterline.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • He drove me off'n the Waterline, him an' the ones that hang with him.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

British Dictionary definitions for waterline

water line

  1. a line marked at the level around a vessel's hull to which the vessel will be immersed when afloat
  2. a line marking the level reached by a body of water
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 waterline

1620s, line where the water rises to on the hull of a ship afloat, from water (n.1) + line (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper