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2017 Word of the Year

borderline

[bawr-der-lahyn] /ˈbɔr dərˌlaɪn/
adjective
1.
on or near a border or boundary.
2.
uncertain; indeterminate; debatable:
not an alcoholic, but a borderline case.
3.
not quite meeting accepted, expected, or average standards.
4.
approaching bad taste or obscenity:
He made several borderline remarks that offended them.
noun
5.
a person suffering from borderline personality.
Origin of borderline
1865-1870
First recorded in 1865-70; border + line1
Synonyms
3. marginal, problematic, uncertain, doubtful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for borderline
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was so poignant a sensation that it crossed the borderline into pain.

    The Ideal Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
  • Between prescience and imagination the borderline is ill defined.

  • Why had she ventured back on to the borderline of this life that had once been hers?

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • The old man was upon that borderline between the living and the dead.

    The Lone Ranger Rides Fran Striker
  • Going from Stirling to Crieff we crossed the borderline of the Highlands.

    The Heather-Moon C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for borderline

borderline

/ˈbɔːdəˌlaɪn/
noun
1.
a border; dividing line; line of demarcation
2.
an indeterminate position between two conditions or qualities: the borderline between friendship and love
adjective
3.
on the edge of one category and verging on another: a borderline failure in the exam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for borderline
n.

1869, "strip of land along a frontier," from border (n.) + line (n.). As an adjective meaning "verging on" it is attested from 1907, originally in medical jargon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for borderline

13
16
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