[ mahr-juh-nal-i-tee ]


  1. Sociology. the state or condition of being isolated from and not fully accepted by the dominant society or culture, and therefore frequently disadvantaged:

    The marginality of certain groups has specific consequences when it comes to the social impact of any natural disaster.

  2. the state or condition of being outside the mainstream or far from the center of activity, attention, etc.:

    The marginality of the location makes it difficult for residents to have easy access to facilities and jobs.

    He had his fans, despite the marginality of his art.

  3. the quality or condition of being at the outer or lower limits of adequacy for survival, success, viability, etc.:

    Even if the climate was more benign during the time of the Norse settlements, the marginality of life in Greenland can be appreciated.

  4. the quality or state of being of minor importance, relevance, or effect:

    Experts say the terrorist organization’s weaknesses will soon cause it to decay into marginality anyway.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of marginality1

First recorded in 1845–55; marginal ( def ) + -ity ( def )

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Example Sentences

His strikeout rate was a hair below 12 per nine innings, a marginal drop from the previous two seasons.

The gains from smoothing out your pacing may be marginal, but at that level you have to look for every possible edge.

For those who have a very short remaining life span anyway, the benefit of the vaccine may be marginal or irrelevant.

From Fortune

Reich saw several marginal decisions backfire, and there’s nothing he could do about that.

Art that is truly original—experimental, revolutionary, new—has always been a marginal affair.

It means to be all the things that the individuals he turns into storytellers on Snap naturally are, in all their marginality.

Now it is marginal - and what admiration it attracts, it attracts precisely because of its marginality.

A couple of weeks ago, Occupy Wall Street seemed destined for marginality.