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See also: linéament



From Middle French linéament, from Latin lineamentum, from linea (line).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈlɪ.ni.ə.mənt/
    • (file)


lineament (plural lineaments)

  1. Any distinctive shape or line, etc.
    • 1967, United States Geological Survey, Geological Survey Research 1967: Chapter A [Geological Survey Professional Paper; 575-A][1], Washington, D.C.: United States Government Publishing Office, →OCLC, page A145:
      East-trending lineaments, some as long as 400 miles, are clearly discernible on the aeromagnetic maps. These lineaments may be associated with large fractures in the earth's crust.
    • 1988, A[rnold] I[van] Johnson, C. B[ernt] Pettersson, editors, Geotechnical Applications of Remote Sensing and Remote Data Transmission: A Symposium Sponsored by ASTM Committee D-18 on Soil and Rock, Cocoa Beach, FL, 31 Jan. – 1 Feb. 1986 [Special Technical Publication; 967], Philadelphia, Pa.: American Society for Testing and Materials, →ISBN, page 22:
      The presence of lineaments is significant in site evaluation for waste disposal, because some lineaments may be faults or fracture zones with the potential to be ground-water conductors.
  2. A distinctive feature that characterizes something, especially the parts of the face of an individual.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii], lines 180-81:
      Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.
    • 1609, Thomas Dekker, The Guls Horn-Booke, London: J.M. Dent, published 1905, page 23:
      [] onely remember, that so soone as thy eyelids be unglewd, thy first exercise must be (either sitting upright on thy pillow, or rarely loling at thy bodies whole length) to yawne, to stretch, and to gape wider then any oyster-wife : for thereby thou doest not onely send out the lively spirits (like vaunt-curers) to fortifie and make good the uttermost borders of the body ; but also (as a cunning painter) thy goodly lineaments are drawne out in their fairest proportion.
    • 1791, William Blake, The French Revolution[2], Book I, 31-32:
      [] a mask of iron on his face hid the lineaments
      Of ancient Kings, and the frown of the eternal lion was hid from the oppressed earth.
    • 1923, James Stephens, chapter VIII, in Deirdre[3], London: Macmillan, page 55:
      But she could not wipe out the king's majesty with that sponge nor alter one lineament of the portrait she had taken ten years to limn.
    • 1927, John Crowe Ransom, Dead Boy:
      A pig with a pasty face, so I had said,
      Squealing for cookies, kinned by poor pretense
      With a noble house. But the little man quite dead,
      I see the forbears' antique lineaments.