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[hair-lahyn] /ˈhɛərˌlaɪn/
a very slender line.
the lower edge of the hair, especially along the upper forehead:
a hairline that slowly receded.
worsted fabric woven with very fine lines or stripes.
  1. a very thin line on the face of a type.
  2. a style of type consisting entirely of such lines.
  3. a thin rule for printing fine lines.
  4. undesirable vertical lines between letters, caused by worn matrices.
narrow or fine as a hair:
a hairline fracture.
Origin of hairline
1725-35; hair + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hairline
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But that hairline is a thing—that's the thing that hit me first when I saw his picture on television.

    Warren Commission (10 of 26): Hearings Vol. X (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • He readjusted the slide rule and slid the hairline over a bit.

    Islands of Space John W Campbell
  • Looking very closely and right at the hairline, you can see the break in the ridge where it forms more or less of a Y.

    Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • The hairline above his ear was a simpler curve than she recalled.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • She felt her hair, wet her fingers and ran them along her hairline and back over her ears.

    The Moon is Green Fritz Reuter Leiber
  • There was a lot of grey in his short hair, and his hairline was a lot higher up his forehead.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
British Dictionary definitions for hairline


the natural margin formed by hair on the head
  1. a very narrow line
  2. (as modifier): a hairline crack
  1. a thin stroke in a typeface
  2. any typeface consisting of such strokes
  3. thin lines beside a character, produced by worn or poorly cast type
a rope or line of hair
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 hairline

"cord made of hair," 1731, from hair + line. Meaning "a very fine line" is from 1846. As "the outline of the hair on top of the head," by 1903. As an adjective, of cracks, etc., by 1923.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hairline in Medicine

hairline hair·line (hâr'līn')
The outline of the growth of hair on the head, especially across the front.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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