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Definition: connected to a computer or available through a computer. For example, online help is information that can be called up immediately on a computer screen rather than having to be looked up in a book. Usage note: Online is also written with a hyphen when used before a noun, as in on-line processing, or as two separate words when used predicatively, as in The computer is on line. In New York City but not elsewhere, on line means “in a queue,” as in We are standing on line—the rest of the country says standing in line. In this context it is not a computer term and is not written as a single word.
Source: Downing, Douglas, et al. Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms. 10th ed. New York, 2009. Print.