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air-line

[air-lahyn] /ˈɛərˌlaɪn/
adjective
1.
straight; direct; traveling a direct route:
Some railroads advertise air-line routes between stations.
Origin of air-line
1805-1815
1805-15, Americanism

airline

[air-lahyn] /ˈɛərˌlaɪn/
noun
1.
Aeronautics.
  1. a system furnishing air transport, usually scheduled, between specified points.
  2. the airplanes, airports, etc., of such a system.
  3. Often, airlines. a company that owns or operates such a system.
2.
a direct line; beeline.
3.
an airhose used to pipe air to a deep-sea diver, pneumatic drill, etc.
adjective
4.
of or on an airline.
Origin
1910-15; air1 + line1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for airline

airline

/ˈɛəˌlaɪn/
noun
1.
  1. a system or organization that provides scheduled flights for passengers or cargo
  2. (as modifier): an airline pilot
2.
a hose or tube carrying air under pressure
3.
(mainly US) a beeline
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for airline
n.

also air-line, 1813, "beeline, straight line from place to place" (as through the air, rather than over terrain; 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), from air (n.1) + line (n.). Meaning "public aircraft transportation company" is from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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