# linear

Something linear is like a line. The adjective usually refers to something that follows an expected order or sequence — like railroad tracks or even the progression of a disease.

Drawn from the word line, something linear follows that concept, coming from the Latin līneāris, "belonging to a line." You might come across the word in mathematics, as in a "linear equation," or in electronics, with a "linear circuit." It also can be used to refer to a written work that follows a "linear narrative." If a movie has lots of flashbacks and happens out of order, it does not have a linear narrative. You might find such a movie puzzling but enjoyable, or you might prefer something more chronological and linear.

## Primary Meanings of linear

 1 adj of or in or along or relating to a line; involving a single dimension 2 adj measured lengthwise 3 adj designating or involving an equation whose terms are of the first degree 4 adj of a circuit or device having an output that is proportional to the input
Full Definitions of linear
1

### adj of or in or along or relating to a line; involving a single dimension

“a linear measurement”
Synonyms:
one-dimensional
collinear
lying on the same line
lineal
arranged in a line
linelike
resembling a line
rectilineal, rectilinear
characterized by a straight line or lines
Antonyms:
cubic, three-dimensional
having three dimensions
planar, two-dimensional
involving two dimensions
blockish, blocky
resembling a block in shape
box-shaped, boxlike, boxy
resembling a box in rectangularity
brick-shaped
shaped like a brick
cube-shaped, cubelike, cubical, cubiform, cuboid, cuboidal
shaped like a cube
isometric
of a crystal system characterized by three equal axes at right angles
solid
having three dimensions
coplanar
lying in the same plane
flat
having a relatively broad surface in relation to depth or thickness
placoid, platelike
as the hard flattened scales of e.g. sharks
flattened, planate
having been flattened
tabular
flat; like a table in form
2

Synonyms:
running
lengthways, lengthwise
running or extending in the direction of the length of a thing

### adj (of a leaf shape) long and narrow

Synonyms:
elongate
simple, unsubdivided
(botany) of leaf shapes; of leaves having no divisions or subdivisions
3

### adj designating or involving an equation whose terms are of the first degree

Synonyms:
bilinear
linear with respect to each of two variables or positions
Antonyms:
nonlinear
designating or involving an equation whose terms are not of the first degree
4

### adj of a circuit or device having an output that is proportional to the input

linear amplifier”
Synonyms:
analog, analogue
Antonyms:
digital
of a circuit or device that represents magnitudes in digits