Etymology
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airline (n.)

also air-line, 1813, "beeline, straight line between two points on the earth's surface" (as through the air, rather than over terrain), from air (n.1) + line (n.). From 1853 and in later 19c. especially in reference to railways that ran directly between big cities in the U.S. instead of meandering from town to town in search of stock subscriptions as early railways typically did. Meaning "public aircraft transportation company" is from 1914.

updated on November 29, 2016

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Definitions of airline from WordNet

airline (n.)
a hose that carries air under pressure;
Synonyms: air hose
airline (n.)
a commercial enterprise that provides scheduled flights for passengers;
Synonyms: airline business / airway
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.