What would you call a "dotdash line" in French? In English it is also called: "dot-dashed line", "dashdot line", "dash-dotted line".

It is a line in the middle of this this image.

I have no suggestion.

I know that dashed line is "ligne pointillée" (f) or "ligne en tireté" (f). I know that dotted line is "pointillés" (mpl). Could it be : une ligne de points et tirets ? or trait en pointillé or just pointillé ?


Stricly speaking, meaning when you want to make a distinction, dashed line is ligne tiretée and dotted line is ligne pointillée. In common language, pointillée is used for any non continuous line, including dotdash. For the three lines represented on the image (long dashes, dot-dash, short dashes), I would use:

  • ligne de pointillés longs
  • ligne de pointillés mixtes
  • ligne de pointillés courts

Technical drawing terminology would be a good place to look for non-ambiguous terms, since it makes heavy use of all sorts of lines, and it’s following national standards which in turn are usually following international guidelines (general principles of presentation in technical drawings ISO 128).

This terminology appears to be fond of the term “trait” instead of “ligne”, but in everyday speech, they can be interchanged without a problem.

So here we go. Technical drawing distinguishes traits by their nature:

  • trait continu (continuous line)
  • trait interrompu (dashed line)
  • trait mixte (long- & short-dashed lines)

... and by their thickness:

  • trait fin (thin line)
  • trait fort (thick line)

To which can naturally be added the intermediate trait médium (medium line), though it doesn’t appear to be part of the standards of technical drawing.

On this Wikipedia article I ran into trait mixte à deux tirets, which would be long-dash short-dash short-dash, so I guess one could use the model to generate fancy line descriptions if required:

  • trait mixte à trois tirets (long-dash short-dash short-dash short-dash)
  • trait mixte à deux traits longs (long-dash long-dash short-dash)

Strangely, dotted lines don’t appear to be part of the official terminology, though it is very commonly used in everyday life, obviously also in French.

  • ligne pointillée (Dotted line)
  • Termium donne ligne interrompue pour dot-dash line, sans doute avec l'idée plus générale. Ce n'est pas vraiment mon domaine, merci ! – user3177 Jan 21 '18 at 20:25

On peut trouver pour dashed dotted line le terme trait mixte tireté et en pointillé (GDT) qui s'appuie sur des éléments des réponses précédentes...

  • Serge Ballesta et moi avons fourni beaucoup de données satellites, mais vous êtes le seul à avoir fourni la réponse à la question posée. Vous avez mon vote et auriez eu mon crochet, eussé-je posé la question. Bravo! – Pas un clue Jan 22 '18 at 1:16
  • @Feelew Merci ! Par ailleurs tout aussi intéressant le fait qu'en ressuscitant la question j'ai vérifié et ajouté rapidement une courte précision au final. La réponse sélectionnée est fort peu importante à mon avis hormis avec le contenu fondamental et ultimement le site n'est pas lié par la sélection. Avec ou sans sélection le contenu est bien accessible et votre réponse est celle où on a fait le plus d'efforts etc. – user3177 Jan 23 '18 at 18:53

I believe we call it a "ligne tiretée".

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