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frontier

[fruhn-teer, fron-; also, esp. British, fruhn-teer] /frʌnˈtɪər, frɒn-; also, esp. British, ˈfrʌn tɪər/
noun
1.
the part of a country that borders another country; boundary; border.
2.
the land or territory that forms the furthest extent of a country's settled or inhabited regions.
3.
Often, frontiers.
  1. the limit of knowledge or the most advanced achievement in a particular field:
    the frontiers of physics.
  2. an outer limit in a field of endeavor, especially one in which the opportunities for research and development have not been exploited:
    the frontiers of space exploration.
4.
Mathematics. boundary (def 2).
adjective
5.
of, relating to, or located on the frontier:
a frontier town.
Origin of frontier
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English frounter < Old French frontier, equivalent to front (in the sense of opposite side; see front) + -ier -ier2
Related forms
frontierless, adjective
frontierlike, adjective
semifrontier, noun
transfrontier, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for frontier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was now ordered with an escort of Uhlans to the frontier.

  • In view of this, Clarke was sent to guard the frontier forts.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • It is not surprising, therefore, that Herodotus did not know all that existed on the far Persian frontier.

    The Gates of India Thomas Holdich
  • The frontier has produced few bloodier records than Plummer's.

    The Story of the Outlaw Emerson Hough
  • For the time, at least, a few hundreds out of the host of the invaders had been forced back over the frontier.

    The New Magdalen Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for frontier

frontier

/ˈfrʌntɪə; frʌnˈtɪə/
noun
1.
  1. the region of a country bordering on another or a line, barrier, etc, marking such a boundary
  2. (as modifier): a frontier post
2.
(US & Canadian)
  1. the edge of the settled area of a country
  2. (as modifier): the frontier spirit
3.
(often pl) the limit of knowledge in a particular field: the frontiers of physics have been pushed back
Word Origin
C14: from Old French frontiere, from front (in the sense: part which is opposite); see front
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 frontier
n.

c.1400, from Old French frontier "prow of a ship, front rank of an army" (13c.), noun use of adjective frontier "facing, neighboring," from front "brow" (see front (n.)).

Originally the front line of an army, sense of "borderland" is first attested early 15c. In reference to North America, from 1670s; later with a specific sense:

What is the frontier? ... In the census reports it is treated as the margin of that settlement which has a density of two or more to the square mile. [F.J. Turner, "The Frontier in American History," 1920]
Frontiersman is from 1782.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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