bor·​der | \ ˈbȯr-dər \

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 \

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 \ adjective


borderer \ ˈbȯr-​dər-​ər \ noun

Examples of border in a Sentence


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.


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

Instead, the majority of the works are placed in stores and boutiques around the avenue Omotesando, a hub for design and architecture in bustling Shibuya, on the border of the hip Tokyo neighborhood of Harajuku. Sarah Hucal, Curbed, "Designart Tokyo, in second-annual event, shows promise," 27 Nov. 2018 With the basics covered, Risen orders a sampling to orient me to three basic regions: the Lowlands, farthest south, extending from the border with England to a bit above Edinburgh; the Highlands, the rest of the mainland; and the Islands. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Demystifying Single Malt Scotch," 21 Nov. 2018 Communication was difficult too: During Taliban rule, people had to cross the border into Pakistan to make an international phone call (domestic calls weren’t easy either). Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Facebook polarized us during the Kavanaugh hearings," 6 Oct. 2018 Mount Baker is about 15 miles from the Canadian border and is one of the highlight peaks of the Cascade Mountain range. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "4 climbers, including 2 Boy Scouts, found alive after going missing while hiking Mount Baker in Washington," 2 Oct. 2018 Now, patriotic computer geeks will be pleased that the two fastest supercomputers in the world currently reside within U.S. borders, according to the newest SuperComputer TOP500 List. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "The Two Fastest Supercomputers In The World Now Belong To The United States," 12 Nov. 2018 Overall, though, the sanctions have hit Iran’s economy hard, curtailing its oil sales, sending foreign investment plummeting and making money transfers across borders difficult. Isabel Coles, WSJ, "Iran Works to Keep Iraq Open for Business," 15 Jan. 2019 As Murad was receiving her prize in Oslo, Iraq celebrated the anniversary of its costly victory over IS, which still carries out sporadic attacks and controls a remote enclave just across the border in Syria. Sinan Salaheddin, The Seattle Times, "Nobel laureate returns to Iraq, pledges to work for peace," 12 Dec. 2018 Malignant moles tend to have asymmetrical or irregular borders, uneven color, a diameter greater than six millimeters, and/or a rapidly changing appearance. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Just not in a tourist mecca in the country’s southwest corner bordering Mexico that has a temperate summer climate and a rich history of hosting international soccer games. Mark Zeigler,, "Why San Diego won't be a venue in the 2026 World Cup," 13 June 2018 To test their prototype, Stephens called Will Hurd, a Republican congressperson whose district includes the nation’s longest stretch of land bordering Mexico. Steven Levy, WIRED, "Inside Palmer Luckey’s Bid to Build A Border Wall," 11 June 2018 On May 8, pro-democracy protester Nikol Pashinyan was appointed interim Prime Minister of Armenia, the tiny Moscow-friendly former Soviet state bordering Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Azerbaijan. Kate Samuelson, Time, "Armenia’s Peaceful Protester Takes Power in a Bloodless Revolution," 8 May 2018 Brown’s commitment brought the pledges from four states that border Mexico to just shy of the low end of the president’s target of 2,000 to 4,000 troops. Kathleen Ronayne And Elliot Spagat,, "California to join Guard border mission, but with conditions," 13 Apr. 2018 Ongoing drug cartel violence in Mexico played a role especially in the Valley, as highways from Mexican states bordering Texas have frequently been deemed unsafe for travel. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Data shows Mexican spending for Semana Santa holy week down significantly since 2012," 6 Apr. 2018 The Republican governors of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico -- three states that border Mexico -- backed the president's move, which officials said could lead to troops on the ground as early as Wednesday night. Gregg Re, Fox News, "Most border-state governors back Trump's National Guard plan," 5 Apr. 2018 Our microwave sits discreetly in an upper cabinet in our galley kitchen, bordered by storage cabinets to the left and a full-height pantry to the right. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Why I love having a microwave in my camper van," 20 Dec. 2018 The main entrance of the school is over a footbridge and is bordered on both sides by a moat-like garden that turns into a creek in rainy weather. Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How Newtown Came Back," 1 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for border

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for border

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

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More Definitions for border


bor·​der | \ ˈbȯr-dər \

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 \

Medical Definition of border

: an outer part or edge — see brush border

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More from Merriam-Webster on border

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with border

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for border

Spanish Central: Translation of border

Nglish: Translation of border for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of border for Arabic Speakers

Comments on border

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