linear

[lin-ee-er]
adjective
1.
of, consisting of, or using lines: linear design.
2.
pertaining to or represented by lines: linear dimensions.
3.
extended or arranged in a line: a linear series.
4.
involving measurement in one dimension only; pertaining to length: linear measure.
5.
of or pertaining to the characteristics of a work of art in which forms and rhythms are defined chiefly in terms of line.
6.
having the form of or resembling a line: linear nebulae.
7.
Mathematics.
a.
consisting of, involving, or describable by terms of the first degree.
b.
having the same effect on a sum as on each of the summands: a linear operation.
8.
Electronics. delivering an output that is directly proportional to the input: a linear circuit; a linear amplifier.
9.
threadlike; narrow and elongated: a linear leaf.

Origin:
1635–45; < Latin līneāris of, belonging to lines. See line1, -ar1

linearly, adverb
nonlinear, adjective
sublinear, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
linear (ˈlɪnɪə)
 
adj
1.  of, in, along, or relating to a line
2.  of or relating to length
3.  resembling, represented by, or consisting of a line or lines
4.  having one dimension
5.  Compare painterly designating a style in the arts, esp painting, that obtains its effects through line rather than colour or light and in which the edges of forms and planes are sharply defined
6.  maths of or relating to the first degree: a linear equation
7.  narrow and having parallel edges: a linear leaf
8.  electronics
 a.  (of a circuit, etc) having an output that is directly proportional to input: linear amplifier
 b.  having components arranged in a line
 
[C17: from Latin līneāris of or by means of lines]
 
linearity
 
n
 
'linearly
 
adv

nonlinear (nɒnˈlɪnɪə)
 
adj
1.  not of, in, along, or relating to a line
2.  denoting digital editing in which edits are saved on computer, rather than videotape, thus enabling further edits to be made

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

linear
1640s, from L. linearis "belonging to a line," from linea "string, line" (see line (n.)). Linear A and Linear B (1902-3) were names given to two related forms of linear Minoan writing discovered 1894-1901 in Crete by Sir Arthur Evans. Related: Linearity.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

linear lin·e·ar (lĭn'ē-ər)
adj.
Of, relating to, or resembling a line; straight.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
linear   (lĭn'ē-ər)  Pronunciation Key 
Being or resembling a line.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

nonlinear definition


(Scientific computation) A property of a system whose output is not proportional to its input. For example, a transistor has a region of input voltages for which its output voltage is found by multiplying the input voltage by the gain of the transistor. Outside this region though, the transistor behaves non-linearly, meaning that it does not obey this simple equation. The behaviour of a system containing non-linear components is thus harder to model and to predict.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
They desire to be part of a generational dynamic which promises to change
  history in a positive and nonlinear direction.
The effect of absence on principles of economics performance is nonlinear,
  becoming important after four absences.
Remember that fluid mechanics is a useful model for explaining sustained vocal
  fold oscillation, however the process is nonlinear.
Human history is highly nonlinear and unpredictable.
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