noun, plural lines·men.

  1. Sports.
    1. an official, as in tennis and soccer, who assists the referee.
    2. official who marks the distances gained and lost in the progress of play and otherwise assists the referee and field judge.
    3. Ice Hockey.either of two officials who assist the referee by watching for icing, offside, and substitution violations and fouls and by conducting face-offs.
  2. lineman(def 1).

noun plural -men

  1. an official who helps the referee or umpire in various sports, esp by indicating when the ball has gone out of play
  2. mainly British a person who installs, maintains, or repairs telephone or electric-power linesUS and Canadian name: lineman

1856, “soldier in a regiment of the line,” from genitive of line (n.) + man (n.). Sports sense, in reference to umpires with specific duties in games with lines (originally tennis, also ice hockey) is from 1890.

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