See more synonyms for margin on
  1. the space around the printed or written matter on a page.
  2. an amount allowed or available beyond what is actually necessary: to allow a margin for error.
  3. a limit in condition, capacity, etc., beyond or below which something ceases to exist, be desirable, or be possible: the margin of endurance; the margin of sanity.
  4. a border or edge.
  5. Philately. selvage(def 3).
  6. Finance.
    1. security, as a percentage in money, deposited with a broker by a client as a provision against loss on transactions.
    2. the amount representing the customer's investment or equity in such an account.
  7. the difference between the amount of a loan and the market value of the collateral pledged as security for it.
  8. Commerce. the difference between the cost and the selling price.
  9. an amount or degree of difference: The measure passed by a margin of just three votes.
  10. Economics. the point at which the return from economic activity barely covers the cost of production, and below which production is unprofitable.
  11. Entomology. the border of an insect's wing.
verb (used with object)
  1. to provide with a margin or border.
  2. to furnish with marginal notes, as a document.
  3. to enter in the margin, as of a book.
  4. Finance. to deposit a margin upon.
  5. Stock Exchange. to purchase (securities) on margin: That stock was heavily margined during the last month.

Origin of margin

1300–50; Middle English < Latin margin- (stem of margō) border; akin to march2

Synonyms for margin

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

4. See edge.

Antonyms for margin

4. center. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for margin

Contemporary Examples of margin

Historical Examples of margin

  • But the margin has it "of thy servant," which does not agree with the person of the verb.

  • There is a limit to the best man's experience; a margin of error in the best man's judgment.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • We went down to the margin, under the bank, and pursued our way along the stream.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • In the margin of the register is written, “This was her funeral text.”

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • He perused the papers earnestly, making pencil-marks on the margin here and there.

British Dictionary definitions for margin


archaic margent (ˈmɑːdʒənt)

  1. an edge or rim, and the area immediately adjacent to it; border
  2. the blank space surrounding the text on a page
  3. a vertical line on a page, esp one on the left-hand side, delineating this space
  4. an additional amount or one beyond the minimum necessarya margin of error
  5. mainly Australian a payment made in addition to a basic wage, esp for special skill or responsibility
  6. a bound or limit
  7. the amount by which one thing differs from anothera large margin separated the parties
  8. commerce the profit on a transaction
  9. economics the minimum return below which an enterprise becomes unprofitable
  10. finance
    1. collateral deposited by a client with a broker as security
    2. the excess of the value of a loan's collateral over the value of the loan
verb (tr)
  1. to provide with a margin; border
  2. finance to deposit a margin upon

Word Origin for margin

C14: from Latin margō border; related to march ², 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 margin

mid-14c., "edge of a sea or lake;" late 14c., "space between a block of text and the edge of a page," from Latin marginem (nominative margo) "edge, brink, border, margin," from PIE *merg- "edge, border, boundary" (see mark (n.1)). General sense of "boundary space; rim or edge of anything" is from late 14c. Meaning "comfort allowance, cushion" is from 1851; margin of safety first recorded 1888. Stock market sense of "sum deposited with a broker to cover risk of loss" is from 1848. Related: Margins.


c.1600, "to furnish with marginal notes," from margin (n.). From 1715 as "to furnish with a margin."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

margin in Medicine


  1. A border or edge, as of an organ.
  2. A limit in a condition or process, beyond or below which something is no longer possible or acceptable.
  3. An amount that is allowed but that is beyond what is needed.
  4. A measure, quantity, or degree of difference.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.