Word of the Day for Wednesday June 29, 2005
lineament \LIN-ee-uh-muhnt\, noun:
1. One of the outlines, exterior features, or distinctive
marks of a body or figure, particularly of the face.
2. A distinguishing or characteristic feature; -- usually in
If she saw herself, even in her memory, she did not see the
brightness that had been hers as a wife; she saw the lined
and ageing woman she had become, as if these lineaments had
been waiting to emerge since her features had first been
--Anita Brookner, Visitors
Biography -- and, by definition, autobiography -- is the
form of the moment. In the shape of a well-lived, well-told
life we can discern the lineaments of the day and even, if
the life to hand signifies more than itself, the age.
--Fred Inglis, "No Discouragement: An Autobiography,"
New Statesman, December 6, 1996
Crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen
houses, with holes from which to look upon the slime
beneath; windows, broken and patched, with poles thrust
out, on which to dry the linen that is never there; rooms
so small, so filthy, so confined, that the air would seem
too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they
shelter; wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the
mud, and threatening to fall into it--as some have done;
dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations; every
repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication
of filth, rot, and garbage; all these ornament the banks of
--Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
Lineament comes from Latin lineamentum, "feature, lineament,"
from linea, "line."