Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A gradual change in a character or feature across the distributional range of a species or population, usually correlated with an environmental or geographic transition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A gradation in a character or phenotype within a species or other group.
  • n. Any graduated continuum.

Etymologies

From Greek klīnein, to lean.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek κλίνειν (klínein, "to lean, incline") (from which also climate), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (English lean). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Hate to muddy the waters, Jenny, but apparently it's not meaningful to give average weights because there is a "cline" in size from Spitzbergen, where the bears are smallest, to the Bering Strait where they are largest.

    Surfacing

  • I speculate that, at least in the western half of Eurasia, Europe and Africa, there is a "cline" running from, say, Finland in the north to sub-Saharan Africa in the south, of decreasing personal tendency toward monogamousness.

    More on polygamy in France

  • I agreeand I see sex workers as often as possible. kimberlee cline, on January 20, 2010 at 8: 48 pm Said:

    Relevancy of Client Status « Bound, Not Gagged

  • Best Billboard Hits of 1983 bobby lewis, del shannon, music 1961, patsy cline, roy orbison, Trivia

    Best Billboard Hits of 1961 | myFiveBest

  • Van Lier uses this cline of consciousness to support his argument that engagement enhances learning, and that this implies a degree of heightened awareness: “If we want language learning to be a success, we must clearly ensure that receptivity and curiosity are maintained” (p. 48).

    F is for Flow « An A-Z of ELT

  • “Second tier and older P2P distribution protocols, like Ares, Gnutella and DirectConnect, continued to de cline in 2008 and account for close to 10% of infringement found during the year.”

    MIT, the School with the Most (pirates)

  • If you think the answer to this puzzle is a cline, rather than a single choice, then try this:

    Universe Puzzle No. 3 | Universe Today

  • As the fortunes of Wall Street and the City of London de cline, moneymen are look ing east for new bases.

    Look Eastward, Bankers

  • Music: patsy cline - these boots are made for walking

    he's got a mean look sittin' on in his eye, gonna shoot some poor son of a bitch just to see him die

  • The extremes are the ones grabbing headlines is in to the cline of long form journalist but unfortunately we now get the sound bites and headlines that are designed to galvanize people and provoke debate even if the source material isn't perhaps the strongest it could be.

    CNN Transcript Sep 19, 2009

Comments

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  • "Gradual change in frequency of genotypes and phenotypes over geographical space, usually related to a corresponding environmental change."
    - SNPA

    March 22, 2009

  • Bright derision can easily grade, through a cline of glee, into a look of rapture...

    - Nabokov, Ada, or Ardor

    June 4, 2008