verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to form or constitute a border; be next to: California borders on the Pacific Ocean.
to approach closely in character; verge: The situation borders on tragedy.

Origin of border

1325–75; Middle English bordure < Anglo-French, Old French, equivalent to bord(er) to border (derivative of bord ship's side, edge < Germanic; see board) + -ure -ure
Related formsbor·dered, adjectivebor·der·less, adjectivetrans·bor·der, adjectiveun·bor·dered, adjective
Can be confusedboarder border

Synonyms for border

Synonym study

1. See edge. 2. See boundary. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for border

Contemporary Examples of border

Historical Examples of border

British Dictionary definitions for border



a band or margin around or along the edge of something
the dividing line or frontier between political or geographic regions
  1. a region straddling such a boundary
  2. (as modifier)border country
  1. a design or ornamental strip around the edge or rim of something, such as a printed page or dinner plate
  2. (as modifier)a border illustration
a long narrow strip of ground planted with flowers, shrubs, trees, etc, that skirts a path or wall or surrounds a lawn or other areaa herbaceous border


(tr) to decorate or provide with a border
(when intr , foll by on or upon)
  1. to be adjacent (to); lie along the boundary (of)his land borders on mine
  2. to be nearly the same (as); verge (on)his stupidity borders on madness

Word Origin for border

C14: from Old French bordure, from border to border, from bort side of a ship, of Germanic origin; see board



noun the Border

(often plural) the area straddling the border between England and Scotland
the area straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
the region in S South Africa around East London




Allan (Robert). born 1955, Australian cricketer; played in 156 test matches (1978–1994), 93 as captain; first Australian batsman to score 10,000 test runs
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

Word Origin and History for border

mid-14c., from Old French bordure "seam, edge of a shield, border," from Frankish *bord or a similar Germanic source (cf. Old English bord "side;" see board (n.2)). The geopolitical sense first attested 1530s, in Scottish (replacing earlier march), from The Borders, name of the district adjoining the boundary between England and Scotland.


c.1400, "to put a border on;" 1640s as "to lie on the border of," from border (n.). Related: Bordered; bordering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper