also date-line, 1880 as an imaginary line down the Pacific Ocean on which the calendar day begins and ends, from date (n.1) + line (n.). Never set by any treaty or international organization, it is an informal construct meant to coincide with a line 180 degrees (12 hours) from Greenwich, but it always has followed a more or less crooked course.
Meaning "line of text that tells the date and place of origin of a newspaper, article, telegram, etc." is by 1888.
1550s, "to mark out in lines," from Latin delineatus, past participle of delineare "to sketch out," from de- "completely" (see de-) + lineare "draw lines," from linea "line" (see line (n.)). From c. 1600 as "represent pictorially;" 1610s as "describe, represent to the mind or understanding, portray in words." Related: Delineated; delineator; delineating.
"resembling a line, of or pertaining to lines," 1640s, from French linéaire, from Latin linearis "belonging to a line," from linea "string, line" (see line (n.)). Essentially the same word as lineal; "in Latin linearis the original suffix -alis was changed to -aris by dissimilation, but in Late Latin this rule was no longer productive and the formation or re-formation in -alis remained unchanged." [Barnhart].
As "involving the use of lines" from 1840, hence Linear A, Linear B, names given (1902-3) to two related forms of linear Minoan writing discovered 1894-1901 in Crete by Sir Arthur Evans and long defying translation. It is used there in opposition to pictographic.
early 15c., "to copulate" (of wolves, dogs), literally "to range (things) in a line," from Old French alignier "set, lay in line" (Modern French aligner), from à "to" (see ad-) + lignier "to line," from Latin lineare "reduce to a straight line," from linea (see line (n.)). Transitive or reflexive sense of "to fall into line" is from 1853. International political sense is attested from 1934. The French spelling with -g- is unetymological, and aline was an early form in English. Related: Aligned; aligning.
also red-line, "mark in red ink," 1820, from red (adj.1) + line (v.). Specific sense of "deny loans to certain neighborhoods based on ethnicity" is from 1973, on notion of lines drawn on maps. Used earlier in reference to insurance company practices (by 1956) and in World War II military slang in reference to a red line drawn through a soldier's name for some infraction, thus denying his pay. Related: Redlined; redlining.
Reports have been increasing here in the last few days to the effect that the American Automobile Association is "red lining" Warren County as a speed trap. [Park City Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky., March 9, 1956]
"time limit," 1920, American English newspaper jargon, from dead (adj.) + line (n.). Perhaps influenced by earlier use (1864) to mean the "do-not-cross" line in Civil War prisons, which figured in the trial of Henry Wirz, commander of the notorious Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia.
And he, the said Wirz, still wickedly pursuing his evil purpose, did establish and cause to be designated within the prison enclosure containing said prisoners a "dead line," being a line around the inner face of the stockade or wall enclosing said prison and about twenty feet distant from and within said stockade; and so established said dead line, which was in many places an imaginary line, in many other places marked by insecure and shifting strips of [boards nailed] upon the tops of small and insecure stakes or posts, he, the said Wirz, instructed the prison guard stationed around the top of said stockade to fire upon and kill any of the prisoners aforesaid who might touch, fall upon, pass over or under [or] across the said "dead line" .... ["Trial of Henry Wirz," Report of the Secretary of War, Oct. 31, 1865]
late 14c., "the act of drawing lines," from Latin lineationem (nominative lineatio) "a drawing of a line, the making in a straight line," noun of action from past-participle stem of lineare in an unrecorded sense "trace lines" (see lineament). Meaning "a marking by lines" is from 1540s.