Definition of lineage in English:



  • 1mass noun Direct descent from an ancestor; ancestry or pedigree.

    ‘a Dutch nobleman of ancient lineage’
    count noun ‘great families and their lineages’
    • ‘It is no big secret that Liam and Noel Gallagher's lineage is 100% Irish with both of their parents hailing from the Emerald Isle.’
    • ‘These are lineage families, and lineage is a key element in Zen training.’
    • ‘A funeral shroud depicting a network of ancestor figures would join the dead with their family lineage, amongst whom they would continue to oversee and often intervene in the affairs of the living.’
    • ‘Many members of this order were of ancient lineage - their family history could be traced back hundreds of years.’
    • ‘there are too few of direct lineage to replace them.’
    • ‘Jesus is a Hebrew descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a man of royal lineage descended from the renowned King David.’
    • ‘We really have no idea where our ancestors first walked on land because, as soon as that lineage became successful, its members are found all over the world.’
    • ‘Parental lineage has never been a discriminating factor for or against anyone.’
    • ‘I was reading books that talked a lot about him, and my Dad's side of the family is of Danish lineage, so the name just worked at the time.’
    • ‘Amongst the mantras uttered were ones which beseeched Lord Indra to bless us with sons and grandsons to carry forth my ancestors' lineage.’
    • ‘The loyalty that this relationship entails, and to which husband and wife were obliged, is of greater importance than blood ties and patriarchal lineage.’
    • ‘Brian Feeney, a historian who has written the definitive book on Sinn Fein, believes Adams and his party has the best claim to direct lineage.’
    • ‘He can also claim lineage to Thyagaraja's direct disciples through various ancestors.’
    • ‘Therefore at that time, women had the right of succession in the family lineage and they probably had the same rights in the inheritance of property also.’
    • ‘I've seen the family lineage and it actually makes them distance cousins.’
    • ‘‘The problem is you end up having an army and police connected by lineage, blood and appearance,’ the document says.’
    • ‘They are fiercely attached to Sadr's guidance and his family's lineage of revered clerics.’
    • ‘There's huge pride in the dog's lineage, its pedigree - as if breeders were talking about their own family trees, as if they're descended from aristocracy.’
    • ‘In only one case, that of the grant of the estate of John Brewes to Thomas Brewes on account of the idiocy of the former, can blood lineage have said to have played a significant part in determining the fate of a grant.’
    • ‘Dad felt that my aristocratic heritage and working-class lineage would make me an ideal political candidate.’
    ancestry, family, parentage, birth
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Anthropology count noun A social group tracing its descent from a single ancestor.
      • ‘All the ethnic groups are organized in fairly large kin groups known as clans or lineages.’
      • ‘Generally, land belongs jointly to the members of lineages or other kin groups.’
      • ‘A smaller unit is the lineage, a kin group of four or five generations descended from a male ancestor traced though the male line.’
      • ‘The important kin groups are patrilineal and matrilineal lineages and clans, Clan members do not necessarily live on clan land.’
      • ‘A group of related lineages that maintain social ties is known as a clan.’
  • 2Biology
    A sequence of species each of which is considered to have evolved from its predecessor.

    ‘the chimpanzee and gorilla lineages’
    • ‘We also determined which phylogenetic lineages had evolved faster or slower.’
    • ‘Although a molecular clock is rejected, divergence times may still be estimated by allowing the rates of evolution to evolve along lineages.’
    • ‘Perhaps the lineage survived as refugium species and thus repopulated during the post-Cretaceous recovery.’
    • ‘Seals, sea lions, manatees, and other lineages evolved into swimmers as well, and paleontologists are also filling in their fossil record.’
    • ‘Trends can be seen either as lineage trends in evolving lineages, or biosphere trends affecting the evolution of life as a whole.’
    1. 2.1 A sequence of cells in the body which developed from a common ancestral cell.
      ‘the myeloid lineage’
      • ‘These cells differentiate into two main cell lineages (ie, myeloid and lymphoid pathways) that lead to the production of blood cells.’
      • ‘These patterns are expected if multiple gene lineages persist in both species since the time of speciation.’
      • ‘The nia nucleotide sequences were compared among Fusarium species representative of different lineages.’
      • ‘Those experiments showed that the neural stem cells in the mutant mice developed into the normal lineages of cells in the embryonic brain.’
      • ‘To do this, 10 independent lineages were evolved for 500 generations in serial batch cultures.’


Middle English: from Old French lignage, from Latin linea ‘a line’ (see line).