verb (used with object)

Origin of margin

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

Synonyms for margin

Synonym study

4. See edge.

Antonyms for margin

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

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)


an edge or rim, and the area immediately adjacent to it; border
the blank space surrounding the text on a page
a vertical line on a page, esp one on the left-hand side, delineating this space
an additional amount or one beyond the minimum necessarya margin of error
mainly Australian a payment made in addition to a basic wage, esp for special skill or responsibility
a bound or limit
the amount by which one thing differs from anothera large margin separated the parties
commerce the profit on a transaction
economics the minimum return below which an enterprise becomes unprofitable
  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)

to provide with a margin; border
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

Medicine definitions for margin




A border or edge, as of an organ.
A limit in a condition or process, beyond or below which something is no longer possible or acceptable.
An amount that is allowed but that is beyond what is needed.
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.