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  1. the part or edge of a surface or area that forms its outer boundary.
  2. the line that separates one country, state, province, etc., from another; frontier line: You cannot cross the border without a visa.
  3. the district or region that lies along the boundary line of another.
  4. the frontier of civilization.
  5. the border,
    1. the border between the U.S. and Mexico, especially along the Rio Grande.
    2. (in the British Isles) the region along the boundary between England and Scotland.
  6. brink; verge.
  7. an ornamental strip or design around the edge of a printed page, a drawing, etc.
  8. an ornamental design or piece of ornamental trimming around the edge of a fabric, rug, garment, article of furniture, etc.
  9. Horticulture.
    1. a long, narrow bed planted with flowers, shrubs, or trees.
    2. a strip of ground in which plants are grown, enclosing an area in a garden or running along the edge of a walk or driveway.
    3. the plants growing in such a strip: a border of tulips along the path.
  10. Theater.
    1. a narrow curtain or strip of painted canvas hung above the stage, masking the flies and lighting units, and forming the top of the stage set.
    2. border light.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make a border around; adorn with a border.
  2. to form a border or boundary to.
  3. to lie on the border of; adjoin.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to form or constitute a border; be next to: California borders on the Pacific Ocean.
  2. to approach closely in character; verge: The situation borders on tragedy.
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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

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Synonym study

1. See edge. 2. See boundary.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bordering

neighboring, adjoining, adjacent, near, touching, edging, abutting, skirting, bounding

Examples from the Web for bordering

Contemporary Examples of bordering

Historical Examples of bordering

  • We rolled on, and entered the village of Manchester, bordering on the falls.

    Other Tales and Sketches

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • The country of the Goajires is a peninsula of Colombia bordering on Venezuela.

  • In fact he wrote that he thought it all wrong, deceitful, bordering on the dishonest.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • All that part of Australia, bordering the ocean, was desert.

  • But this refers only to the section of Finland bordering on the Baltic Sea.

British Dictionary definitions for bordering


  1. a band or margin around or along the edge of something
  2. 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
  3. 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
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  1. (tr) to decorate or provide with a border
  2. (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
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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
  1. (often plural) the area straddling the border between England and Scotland
  2. the area straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
  3. the region in S South Africa around East London
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  1. 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
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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 bordering



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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper