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Lin·e·ar a.

1. Of or pertaining to a line; consisting of lines; in a straight direction; lineal.

2. Bot. Like a line; narrow; of the same breadth throughout, except at the extremities; as, a linear leaf.

*Linear thinkers concluded that by taking the world apart, the actions of people were more predictable and controllable.* --*David Morris (Conference presentation, Fairfield University, October 31, 1997)*

**Linear differential equation** Math., an equation which is of the first degree, when the expression which is equated to zero is regarded as a function of the dependent variable and its differential coefficients.

**Linear equation** Math., an equation of the first degree between two variables; -- so called because every such equation may be considered as representing a right line.

**Linear measure**, the measurement of length.

**Linear numbers** Math., such numbers as have relation to length only: such is a number which represents one side of a plane figure. If the plane figure is square, the linear figure is called a __root__.

**Linear problem** Geom., a problem which may be solved geometrically by the use of right lines alone.

**Linear transformation** Alg., a change of variables where each variable is replaced by a function of the first degree in the new variable.

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Lin·e·al a.

1. Descending in a direct line from an ancestor; hereditary; derived from ancestors; -- opposed to collateral; as, a lineal descent or a lineal descendant.

*The prime and ancient right of lineal succession.* --*Locke.*

2. Inheriting by direct descent; having the right by direct descent to succeed (to).

*For only you are lineal to the throne.* --*Dryden.*

3. Composed of lines; delineated; as, lineal designs.

4. In the direction of a line; of or pertaining to a line; measured on, or ascertained by, a line; linear; as, lineal magnitude.

**Lineal measure**, the measure of length; -- usually written linear measure.

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meas·ure n.

1. A standard of dimension; a fixed unit of quantity or extent; an extent or quantity in the fractions or multiples of which anything is estimated and stated; hence, a rule by which anything is adjusted or judged.

2. An instrument by means of which size or quantity is measured, as a graduated line, rod, vessel, or the like.

*False ells and measures be brought all clean adown.* --*R. of Gloucester.*

3. The dimensions or capacity of anything, reckoned according to some standard; size or extent, determined and stated; estimated extent; as, to take one's measure for a coat.

*The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.* --*Job xi. 9.*

4. The contents of a vessel by which quantity is measured; a quantity determined by a standard; a stated or limited quantity or amount.

*It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal.* --*Luke xiii. 21.*

5. Extent or degree not excessive or beyong bounds; moderation; due restraint; esp. in the phrases, __in measure__; __with measure__; __without__ or __beyond measure__.

*Hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure.* --*Is. v. 14.*

6. Determined extent, not to be exceeded; limit; allotted share, as of action, influence, ability, or the like; due proportion.

*Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days.* --*Ps. xxxix. 4.*

7. The quantity determined by measuring, especially in buying and selling; as, to give good or full measure.

8. Undefined quantity; extent; degree.

*There is a great measure of discretion to be used in the performance of confession.* --*Jer. Taylor.*

9. Regulated division of movement: (a) Dancing A regulated movement corresponding to the time in which the accompanying music is performed; but, especially, a slow and stately dance, like the minuet. (b) Mus. (1) The group or grouping of beats, caused by the regular recurrence of accented beats. (2) The space between two bars. See Beat, Triple, Quadruple, Sextuple, Compound time, under Compound, a., and Figure. (c) Poetry The manner of ordering and combining the quantities, or long and short syllables; meter; rhythm; hence, a foot; as, a poem in iambic measure.

10. Arith. A number which is contained in a given number a number of times without a remainder; as in the phrases, the __common measure__, the __greatest common measure__, etc., of two or more numbers; a denominator. See common denominator under denominator.

11. A step or definite part of a progressive course or policy; a means to an end; an act designed for the accomplishment of an object; as, political measures; prudent measures; an inefficient measure.

*His majesty found what wrong measures he had taken in the conferring that trust, and lamented his error.* --*Clarendon.*

12. The act of measuring; measurement.

13. pl. Geol. Beds or strata; as, coal measures; lead measures.

**linear measure**, **lineal measure**, *or* **long measure**, measure of length; the measure of lines or distances.

**Liquid measure**, the measure of liquids.

**Square measure**, the measure of superficial area of surfaces in square units, as inches, feet, miles, etc.

**To have hard measure**, to have harsh treatment meted out to one; to be harshly or oppressively dealt with.

**To take measures**, to make preparations; to provide means.

**To take one's measure**, to measure one, as for a garment; hence, to form an opinion of one's disposition, character, ability, etc.

**To tread a measure**, to dance in the style so called. See 9 (a).

Say to her, we have measured many miles

To tread a measure with her on this grass. --*Shak.*

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From: WordNet (r) 2.0

linear measure

n : a measure of length [syn: long measure]