noun \ˈmär-jən\

: the part of a page that is above, below, or to the side of the printed part

: the place where something (such as a piece of land) stops : the edge of something

: an extra amount of something (such as time or space) that can be used if it is needed

Full Definition of MARGIN

:  the part of a page or sheet outside the main body of printed or written matter
:  the outside limit and adjoining surface of something :  edge <at the margin of the woods> <continental margin>
a :  a spare amount or measure or degree allowed or given for contingencies or special situations <left no margin for error>
b (1) :  a bare minimum below which or an extreme limit beyond which something becomes impossible or is no longer desirable <on the margin of good taste>
(2) :  the limit below which economic activity cannot be continued under normal conditions
c :  an area, state, or condition excluded from or existing outside the mainstream <the margins of critical discourse — Barbara L. Packer> <living in society's margins>
a :  the difference which exists between net sales and the cost of merchandise sold and from which expenses are usually met or profit derived
b :  the excess market value of collateral over the face of a loan
c (1) :  cash or collateral that is deposited by a client with a commodity or securities broker to protect the broker from loss on a contract
(2) :  the client's equity in securities bought with the aid of credit obtained specifically (as from a broker) for that purpose
d :  a range about a specified figure within which a purchase is to be made
:  measure or degree of difference <the bill passed by a one-vote margin>
mar·gined \-jənd\ adjective

Examples of MARGIN

  1. Please write your name in the left margin of the page.
  2. a book with wide margins
  3. Mountains lie at the city's northern margins.

Origin of MARGIN

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin margin-, margo border — more at mark
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Printing Terms

epigraph, errata, leader, mechanical, notch, tittle, underscore, widow



Definition of MARGIN

transitive verb
a :  to provide with an edging or border
b :  to form a margin to :  border
a :  to add margin to <margin up an account>
b (1) :  to use as margin <margin bonds to buy stock>
(2) :  to provide margin for <margin a transaction>
c :  to buy (securities) on margin

Examples of MARGIN

  1. <the riverbed is margined by a flat beach of smooth rocks>

First Known Use of MARGIN



noun \ˈmär-jən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of MARGIN

: the outside limit or edge of something (as a bodily part or a wound)
: the part of consciousness at a particular moment that is felt only vaguely and dimly


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In finance, the amount by which the value of collateral pledged as security for a loan exceeds the amount of the loan. This excess provides the lender a “margin” of safety over and above the collateral offered and thus makes extending a loan a more attractive proposition. The size of the margin varies with the type of collateral, the stability of its market price, and the credit standing of the borrower. The term margin is also used in reference to securities transactions. When securities are purchased “on margin,” the buyer supplies a percentage of the purchase price in cash, pledges the security as collateral, and borrows the remainder from the broker. The U.S. Federal Reserve Board (see Federal Reserve System) sets minimum margin requirements on loans made for the purpose of buying securities, so as to prevent excessive use of credit for speculation in stocks, as happened before the stock-market crash of 1929.


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