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noun mar·gin \ˈmär-jən\

Simple Definition of margin

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of margin

  1. 1 :  the part of a page or sheet outside the main body of printed or written matter

  2. 2 :  the outside limit and adjoining surface of something :  edge <at the margin of the woods> <continental margin>

  3. 3 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>

  4. 4 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

  5. 5 :  measure or degree of difference <the bill passed by a one-vote margin>


play \-jənd\ adjective

Examples of margin in a sentence

  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 and Etymology of margin

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin margin-, margo border — more at mark

First Known Use: 14th century



verb mar·gin

Definition of margin

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to provide with an edging or border b :  to form a margin to :  border

  3. 2 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 in a sentence

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


First Known Use of margin


MARGIN Defined for Kids


noun mar·gin \ˈmär-jən\

Definition of margin for Students

  1. 1 :  the part of a page or sheet outside the main body of print or writing

  2. 2 :  1border 2 <We walked along the margins of the forest.>

  3. 3 :  an extra amount (as of time or money) allowed for use if needed <We have a margin of five minutes before the bus leaves.>

  4. 4 :  a measurement of difference <They lost by a small margin.>

Medical Dictionary


noun mar·gin \ˈmär-jən\

Medical Definition of margin

  1. 1:  the outside limit or edge of something (as a bodily part or a wound)

  2. 2:  the part of consciousness at a particular moment that is felt only vaguely and dimly

Law Dictionary


noun mar·gin \ˈmär-jən\

Legal Definition of margin

  1. 1 :  the difference between net sales and the cost of the merchandise sold from which expenses are usually met or profits derived

  2. 2 :  the amount by which the market value of collateral is greater than the face value of a loan

  3. 3a :  cash or collateral deposited in a regulated amount by a client with a broker who is financing the purchase of securities — see also regulation t b :  a deposit made with a broker by a client who is trading in futures

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