noun mar·gin \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

MARGINED Defined for Kids


noun mar·gin \ˈmär-jən\

Definition of MARGIN for Kids

:  the part of a page or sheet outside the main body of print or writing
:  1border 2 <We walked along the margins of the forest.>
:  an extra amount (as of time or money) allowed for use if needed <We have a margin of five minutes before the bus leaves.>
:  a measurement of difference <They lost by a small margin.>
Medical Dictionary


noun mar·gin \ˈmär-jən\

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


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