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[fruhn-teer, fron-; also, esp. British, fruhn-teer] /frʌnˈtɪər, frɒn-; also, esp. British, ˈfrʌn tɪər/
the part of a country that borders another country; boundary; border.
the land or territory that forms the furthest extent of a country's settled or inhabited regions.
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.
Mathematics. boundary (def 2).
of, relating to, or located on the frontier:
a frontier town.
Origin of frontier
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
Synonym Study
1. See boundary. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for transfrontier


/ˈfrʌntɪə; frʌnˈtɪə/
  1. the region of a country bordering on another or a line, barrier, etc, marking such a boundary
  2. (as modifier): a frontier post
(US & Canadian)
  1. the edge of the settled area of a country
  2. (as modifier): the frontier spirit
(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 transfrontier



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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