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


[air-lahyn] /ˈɛərˌlaɪn/
  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.
a direct line; beeline.
an airhose used to pipe air to a deep-sea diver, pneumatic drill, etc.
of or on an airline.
1910-15; air1 + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for airline
  • He dithered so long over a major aircraft decision that his airline became the last large carrier to enter the jet age.
  • But don't take my word for it, and trust no airline.
  • airline pilots have check flights every six months to keep them in top shape.
  • First on list is to fix matters with my new airline plan.
  • And as someone else has pointed out buy from the airline directly usually saves money.
  • Many airlines will not require any additional payment if you hold a valid ticket on a canceled flight, even for another airline.
  • Word in the airline industry is that there will be severe capacity cutbacks this fall and after the holidays.
  • But each airline has its own policy and allowances, so be sure to check your airline in the days before you travel.
  • Plus, you get treated better by the airline when you dress less casually.
  • The database knows when airline prices are going to change and has uncovered a host of other secrets about air travel.
British Dictionary definitions for airline


  1. a system or organization that provides scheduled flights for passengers or cargo
  2. (as modifier): an airline pilot
a hose or tube carrying air under pressure
(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

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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