- (shipbuilding) the outline of a horizontal section of a vessel, as when floating in the water.
- (shipbuilding) Any one of certain lines of a vessel, model, or plan, parallel with the surface of the water at various heights from the keel. In a half-breadth plan, the water lines are outward curves showing the horizontal form of the ship at their several heights; in a sheer plan, they are projected as straight horizontal lines.
- (nautical) Any one of several lines marked upon the outside of a vessel, corresponding with the surface of the water when she is afloat on an even keel. The lowest line indicates the vessel's proper submergence when not loaded, and is called the light water line; the highest, called the load water line, indicates her proper submergence when loaded.
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.