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1. noun A clear division, typically between two things. As a new parent, you learn that there's not a bright line between looking out for your child's welfare and being overprotective. It's a bright line! You're either borrowing, which implies permission, or you're stealing!
2. adjective Describing a clear standard, especially in legal situations. Typically hyphenated in this usage. There's a bright-line rule for a reason. We can't apply the law inconsistently, changing our minds from case to case!
Especially in law, defined by clear terms, standards, and rules so as to avoid ambiguity or room for interpretation. Used especially as "bright-line rule" or "bright-line standard." After the economic crash, several bright-line rules were established.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.