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From the old English "stretched linen" suggesting its origins whereby a piece of string is stretched, chalked and flicked thereby leaving a shadow in chalk of the string in the form of a straight line. The first two axioms (or postulates) of Euclidian geometry concern straight line segements. 1. A straight line segment can be drawn joining any two points. 2. Any straight line segment can be extended indefinitely in a straight line. The equation of a straight line in cartesian coordinates is EQN:ax+by=c A common transformation of this is EQN:y=mx+c ---- One of the Named Curves on this site.