Definition of in line in US English:

in line


  • 1Under control.

    ‘that threat kept a lot of people in line’
    • ‘There are no secrets in a small village, and gossip is a potent weapon to keep people in line.’
    • ‘Listen we need more guards to keep this base safe and to keep the civilians in line.’
    • ‘The church has overused the concept of unity in the name of control and keeping people in line.’
    • ‘The desire to control women and keep us in line is both overt and covert in North America.’
    • ‘The police are there to keep the rabble in line and protect private property.’
    • ‘When I was younger, I was arrogant, as a lot of people are at that age, but that's how George and Gary kept me in line.’
    • ‘It is possible that cosmetic concessions such as these will be enough to persuade potential rebel MPs to stay in line.’
    • ‘They're purposefully designed to keep us in line by giving us a glimpse of what life would be like if schools didn't exist.’
    under control, in order, in check, obedient, conforming with the rules
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  • 2North American In a row waiting to proceed.

    ‘I always peer at other people's shopping carts as we stand in line’
    • ‘Waiting in line, I realised that pretty much everyone else getting on the train was also going to the convention.’
    • ‘Standing in line to order a cup of coffee to battle the cold, I fidgeted with my wallet.’
    • ‘Some Floridians were still waiting in line to vote almost five hours after the polls were set to close.’
    • ‘We waited in line for an hour, which was fine, the weather was amazingly sunny and warm.’
    • ‘The staff will give you a number and customers are required to wait in line.’
    • ‘I get upset because I have to wait in line too long at the supermarket.’
    • ‘The person in line ahead of me had 13 items in the 10-or-less lane.’
    • ‘The teller got up from behind his desk, and went over to one of the children waiting in line.’
    • ‘Hundreds waited in line, even in the day's wretched weather, to try and register their willingness to help.’
    • ‘Even before the polling stations opened, the voters were standing in line.’
    in a queue, in a row, in a column, in a file
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