borderline

[bawr-der-lahyn]

adjective

on or near a border or boundary.
uncertain; indeterminate; debatable: not an alcoholic, but a borderline case.
not quite meeting accepted, expected, or average standards.
approaching bad taste or obscenity: He made several borderline remarks that offended them.

noun

a person suffering from borderline personality.

Nearby words

  1. border, the,
  2. bordereau,
  3. borderer,
  4. borderland,
  5. borderless,
  6. borderline personality,
  7. borderline personality disorder,
  8. borders,
  9. borders region,
  10. bordet

Origin of borderline

First recorded in 1865–70; border + line1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for borderline


British Dictionary definitions for borderline

borderline

noun

a border; dividing line; line of demarcation
an indeterminate position between two conditions or qualitiesthe borderline between friendship and love

adjective

on the edge of one category and verging on anothera 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

Word Origin and History for borderline

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