bor·​der | \ ˈbȯr-dər How to pronounce border (audio) \

Definition of border

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an outer part or edge at the borders of the forest
2 textiles : an ornamental design at the edge of a fabric or rug
3 : a narrow bed of planted ground along the edge of a lawn or walkway a border of tulips
4 : boundary on the border between New York and Canada crossed the border into Italy
5 : a plain or decorative margin around printed matter wedding invitations with a delicate gold leaf border


bordered; bordering\ ˈbȯr-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce bordering (audio) \

Definition of border (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put a border on a rug bordered with a pattern of leaves bordered the garden with pansies
2 : to touch at the edge or boundary : bound borders the city on the south Slovakia borders Poland.

intransitive verb

1 : to lie on the border the U.S. borders on Canada
2 : to approach the nature of a specified thing : verge borders on the ridiculous

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Other Words from border


bordered \ ˈbȯr-​dərd How to pronounce bordered (audio) \ adjective


borderer \ ˈbȯr-​dər-​ər How to pronounce borderer (audio) \ noun

Examples of border in a Sentence

Noun He grew up in Malaysia, near the Indonesian border. They live just beyond the western border of the park. the border of the Sahara The quilt is quite plain except for its colorful border. a broad red border on each plate He planted pansies in the border. Verb Their property borders the park. Tall trees border the avenue. Two rivers border the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The country is home to some 3.6 million Syrian refugees and has concerns of more flowing into its border. Fox News, "Syrian rebels shoot down government helicopter, while counter-airstrike kills civilians, including children: reports," 11 Feb. 2020 But as more countries shut their borders to travelers from China, there are concerns the restrictions will hinder sharing of public health data, or disrupt supply chains. Helen Regan, CNN, "A coronavirus outbreak could be devastating for poorer countries," 11 Feb. 2020 Turkey is home to some 3.6 million Syrian refugees and has concerns of more flowing into its border. Washington Post, "Insurgents shoot down Syrian helicopter amid offensive," 11 Feb. 2020 In the short term, the idea of the federal government negotiating with drug companies and outside our borders is a terrific idea. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "In their words: Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and other Democrats explain exactly how they’d lower drug prices," 10 Feb. 2020 Attar noticed that Ballour, exhausted, still gave her full attention to her and to reporter Sydney Combs—and spoke about hope for Syrians and for women beyond its borders. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 7 Feb. 2020 Vicki Capp, who has been welcoming guests to the Iris Inn Bed and Breakfast since 1982, knows the perks and quirks of eateries in Ashland as well as those just outside its borders. oregonlive, "Ashland insider’s guide: What are the best restaurants in Ashland? Picky innkeepers recommend these eateries," 6 Feb. 2020 Hong Kong’s government has been under pressure to close its borders to mainland China. New York Times,, "Xi signals more assertive response to epidemic," 4 Feb. 2020 Belgium has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, making it the 25th country to report a case of the mysterious disease within its borders. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "First case of coronavirus in Belgium confirmed," 4 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While everything in the exhibition is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordán said the artifacts may span various cultures, especially those of people in bordering countries. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "A first in Phoenix: Ceremonial masks, instruments reveal African masquerade tradition," 13 Feb. 2020 Thunberg was previously nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, but lost to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who won for efforts to achieve international peace, specifically in alleviating conflict with the bordering Eritrea. Asia Ewart,, "If She Wins, Greta Thunberg Would Only Be The 18th Woman Awarded The Nobel Peace Prize," 3 Feb. 2020 Six bordering counties saw their tax base increase. Lizzie Johnson,, "For Camp Fire victims, a tiny church has become a place of help and hope," 27 Jan. 2020 Laws in many states give cities sweeping authority to absorb bordering properties in unincorporated areas whether the owners like it or not. Mitch Smith, New York Times, "For Shrinking Cities, an Aggressive Way to Dodge the Census Bullet," 17 Jan. 2020 Plants aren’t growing in paths, but rainfall still must penetrate the soil there, and some roots of plants bordering paths find their way there. Washington Post, "Cover your ground, for your plants’ sake," 22 Oct. 2019 Bridgeport’s other bordering districts, Stratford and Trumbull, also spend more money on fewer students, who tend to be white and more affluent. Eliza Fawcett,, "Congressional study: Connecticut among the leaders in funding public schools through the local property tax," 15 Oct. 2019 Beijing officials have hinted at the possible deployment of troops in Hong Kong, and Chinese paramilitary police have recently held large drills in the bordering city of Shenzhen. James Griffiths, CNN, "Man shot with live round in major escalation of Hong Kong protests," 1 Oct. 2019 FirstEnergy Transmission patrols: Residents in North Ridgeville and bordering communities may have already been noticing an unfamiliar aircraft flying in the area., "Avon adding car washes to list of growing businesses: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 19 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'border.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of border


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for border


Middle English bordure, from Anglo-French, from border to border, from Old French bort border, of Germanic origin; probably akin to Old English bord board

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Time Traveler for border

Time Traveler

The first known use of border was in the 14th century

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Statistics for border

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Border.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for border


bor·​der | \ ˈbȯr-dər How to pronounce border (audio) \

Kids Definition of border

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a boundary especially of a country or state
2 : the outer edge of something the border of the woods
3 : a decorative strip on or near the edge of something


bordered; bordering

Kids Definition of border (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a border on Border the garden with flowers.
2 : to be close or next to The United States borders on Canada.


bor·​der | \ ˈbȯrd-ər How to pronounce border (audio) \

Medical Definition of border

: an outer part or edge — see brush border

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More from Merriam-Webster on border

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for border

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with border

Spanish Central: Translation of border

Nglish: Translation of border for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of border for Arabic Speakers

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