In Line With: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 8, 2023

The phrase "in line with" signifies agreement or consistency with something, such as a rule, guideline, or expectation. It is frequently used in the context of aligning actions, decisions, or policies with overarching principles or goals.

In short:

"In line with" means being in agreement with or being consistent with a set guideline, principle, or expectation.

What Does "In Line With" Mean?

The idiom indicates that something accords with or follows the form or direction of another thing. In other words, the two things are in agreement or harmony.

Let's explore its core meanings:

  • It signifies coherence or compliance with a norm, principle, policy, etc.
  • It suggests a correspondence or parallel between two or more things.
  • It could indicate consistency between actions, values, decisions, and priorities.

Where Does "In Line With" Come From?

The phrase "in line with" is thought to have originated in the early 1800s. It is a literal phrase that refers to being in a straight line. However, it is also used figuratively to mean "in agreement with" or "in accordance with."

The earliest known use of the phrase in a literal sense is in an 1825 dictionary of nautical terms.

The definition of "in line" is given as follows:

  • In a straight line, or in a line with something else.

The first known use of the phrase in a figurative sense is in an 1833 book about the history of the United States. The author uses the phrase to describe the policies of the government, saying that they are:

  • "In line with the principles of the Constitution."

Historical Example

"In line with previous research, we hypothesized that the onset of MSR would be earlier in sociocultural contexts in which mothers value and support their toddlers' development of autonomy."

- Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 1935

10 Examples of "In Line With" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • That being said, your proposal is perfectly in line with our company's current objectives.
  • Your report should be in line with the research guidelines provided.
  • The updated safety guidelines will go into effect next month, in line with the new federal regulations.
  • The budget allocation was made in line with the priorities set at the beginning of the fiscal year.
  • As per my last email, I've adjusted the project timeline in line with the feedback you provided.
  • The teacher's instructions were in line with the school's academic standards.
  • To close the loop, we need to ensure our actions are in line with the discussions from our previous meeting.
  • The construction of the building is in line with the local council's safety regulations.
  • Our marketing strategy is in line with the latest consumer trends.
  • Your efforts to keep the team informed are much appreciated and in line with our communication standards.

Examples of "In Line With" in Pop Culture

The phrase "in line with" often appears in various media, especially in news reports, articles, and business communication, to emphasize agreement or consistency with a certain standard or expectation.

Let's look at some examples:

  • "In Line with the Divine: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Lebanon" is a book that supports the movement to eradicate gender-based violence in Lebanon and throughout the Arab World.
  • In the 2016 fantasy movie, God's Not Dead 2. Principal Kinney tells Brooke Thawley, "Ms. Wesley's answer was not in line with school policy."

Other/Different Ways to Say "In Line With"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "in line with."

Some of these include:

  • Consistent with
  • In accordance with
  • In agreement with
  • Conforming to
  • In harmony with

You can use these alternatives interchangeably depending on the context and the degree of alignment or agreement involved.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "In Line With":

  • What does "in line with" mean?

"In line with" means being in agreement with or being consistent with a particular guideline, principle, or expectation.

  • How can I use "in line with" in a sentence?

You can use "in line with" to indicate that a certain action, decision, or situation is consistent with a specific guideline, rule, or expectation. For instance, "The new rules are in line with the company's policy on employee conduct."

  • Where does the idiom "in line with" come from?

The idiom originated from the concept of a physical line as a standard or direction. Over time, this was metaphorically extended to mean consistency or agreement with abstract standards, such as rules or expectations.

  • Does "in line with" imply agreement?

Yes, "in line with" implies agreement or consistency with a certain guideline, standard, or expectation.

  • Is "in line with" used formally or informally?

The phrase "in line with" can be used in both formal and informal contexts, though it is particularly common in formal and professional communication.

  • Can I use it to describe people's behavior?

Yes, it can be used to describe behavior that is consistent with a certain standard or expectation. For instance, "Her actions were in line with the principles she always advocated."

  • Can I use it in a legal context?

Yes, "in line with" is often used in legal contexts to indicate consistency with laws, regulations, or legal principles.

  • What are some synonyms for "in line with"?

Some synonyms for "in line with" include "consistent with," "in accordance with," "in agreement with," "conforming to," and "in harmony with."

  • Can I use "in line with" to express an alignment of beliefs or values?

Yes, "in line with" can be used to express alignment or consistency with beliefs, values, or principles. For example, "Their charitable actions are in line with their values of compassion and generosity."

  • Does "in line with" always mean being exactly the same?

No, "in line with" doesn't necessarily mean being exactly the same. Rather, it refers to being consistent with or following the same direction as a certain standard, guideline, or expectation.

Final Thoughts About "In Line With"

The idiom "in line with" is a versatile phrase that emphasizes consistency, agreement, or alignment with a particular standard or expectation.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "In line with" refers to being in agreement with, or following the same direction as, a certain guideline, standard, or expectation.
  • The idiom draws from the physical concept of a line as a metaphor for consistency or alignment.
  • You may use it in various contexts and situations.

"In line with" is a handy phrase to express consistency or agreement. It reminds us of the importance of adhering to standards and expectations while allowing for individual interpretation and application.

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