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See also: Cline and -cline



  • IPA(key): /klaɪn/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪn

Etymology 1[edit]

Ancient Greek κλῑ́νω (klī́nō, to lean, incline). Introduced by English evolutionary biologist and eugenicist Julian Huxley in 1938 after British mycologist John Ramsbottom suggested the term.[1]


cline (plural clines)

  1. (systematics) A gradation in a character or phenotype within a species or other group.
  2. Any graduated continuum.
    • 2005, Ronnie Cann, Ruth Kempson and Lutz Marten, The Dynamics of Language, an Introduction, p. 412
      This account effectively reconstructs the well-known grammaticalisation cline from anaphora to agreement, …
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Julian Huxley (1938-07-30), “Clines: an Auxiliary Taxonomic Principle”, in Nature, DOI:10.1038/142219a0, ISSN 1476-4687, retrieved 2021-11-09, pages 219–220:
    Some special term seems desirable to direct attention to variation within groups, and I propose the word cline, meaning a gradation in measurable characters. [] I have also to thank Dr. J. Ramsbottom for suggesting cline as the best term to denote gradation.

Etymology 2[edit]

From c(ircle) + line; compare circline.


cline (plural clines)

  1. (geometry, inversive geometry) A generalized circle.
    • 2001, Michael Henle, Modern Geometries: Non-Euclidean, Projective, and Discrete[1], page 77:
      Let C1 and C2 be two nonintersecting clines. Prove that there is a unique pair of points that are simultaneously symmetric to both C1 and C2.
    • 2009, Michael P. Hitchman, Geometry with an Introduction to Cosmic Topology[2], page 64:
      To visualize Möbius transformations, it is helpful to focus on fixed points and, in the case of two fixed points, on two families of clines with respect to these points.
    • 2011, Dominique Michelucci, What is a Line?, Pascal Schreck, Julien Narboux, Jürgen Richter-Gebert (editors), Automated Deduction in Geometry, 8th International Workshop, ADG 2010, Revised Selected Papers, LNAI 6877, page 139,
      Let Ω be a fixed, arbitrary, point. Then circles (in the classical sense) through Ω can be considered as lines. For convenience, such circles are called clines in this section. Two distinct clines cut in one point (ignoring Ω and the two cyclic points); it can happen that Ω is a double intersection point; in this case, one may say that the two clines are parallel, and that they meet at a point at infinity, which is Ω.

Further reading[edit]

  • cline at OneLook Dictionary Search