or de·mar·ka·tion

[dee-mahr-key-shuh n]
See more synonyms for demarcation on

Origin of demarcation

1720–30; Latinization of Spanish demarcación (in linea de demarcación line of demarcation, dividing the world between Spain and Portugal) derivative of demarcar to mark out the bounds of, equivalent to de- de- + marcar < Italian marcare < Germanic; see mark1, -ation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for demarcation



  1. the act of establishing limits or boundaries
  2. a limit or boundary
    1. a strict separation of the kinds of work performed by members of different trade unions
    2. (as modifier)demarcation dispute
  3. separation or distinction (often in the phrase line of demarcation)

Word Origin for demarcation

C18: Latinized version of Spanish demarcación, from demarcar to appoint the boundaries of, from marcar to mark, from Italian marcare, of Germanic origin; see mark 1
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 demarcation

c.1752, from Spanish linea de demarcacion or Portuguese linha de demarcaçao, name of the line laid down by Pope Alexander VI, May 4, 1493, dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal on a line 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. Applied from 1801 to other lines dividing regions. From Spanish de- (see de-) + marcar "to mark the boundaries of," from a Germanic source (see mark (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper