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 border (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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from border


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


borderer \ ˈbȯr-​dər-​ər How to pronounce border (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Colorado River once flowed across the U.S. border into Mexico, emptying into the Sea of Cortez. Erin Patrick O'connor, Washington Post, 14 May 2022 The re-education camp wasn't hidden out of sight, like Stalin's gulags that had once sprawled just across the border in Siberia. Nury Turkel, The Week, 10 May 2022 Biden’s trip to Eastern Europe was on her public schedule, but her visit across the Ukrainian border was unannounced. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 9 May 2022 On Friday evenings, a smaller contingent heads en masse across the border to Coronado. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 May 2022 On Burns Avenue, a collection of bars and restaurants are popular with locals, Guatemalans that come across the border, and adventurous tourists. Graham Averill, Outside Online, 7 May 2022 Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine on February 24, the world has seen many images of women fiercely defending their homes, working as volunteers, joining civilian militias, or relocating their families across the border. Txell Hernández-gil, Vogue, 6 May 2022 Ukraine’s army has halted Russia’s advance into the country, and in some cases—like northwest of Kyiv—even sent the Russian Ground Forces scurrying back across the border. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 Russian troops stormed across the border, setting off a panicked exodus. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today, Saratoga Springs, Lehi, Vineyard and other fast-growing cities border the lake, and new subdivisions are pressing against its high waterline. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 31 Mar. 2022 The Baltic States -- Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- also border Russia to the west and are members of NATO. Nadine El-bawab, ABC News, 25 Feb. 2022 Specific references to real-life Chicago, like a lone mention of the shooting of Laquan McDonald, are so scarce as to border on exploitative. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Apr. 2022 Expecting a Laker revival is starting to border that old theory of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. Jason Gay, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2022 The move should allow traffic to flow smoothly again over bridges that border the Mexican state, including in El Paso, where long delays and ensuing protests by Mexican truckers led to hourslong waits and temporary closure of three bridges. Elizabeth Findell, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2022 Romania has asked its northernmost counties that border Ukraine to provide heating and electricity to existing refugee centers—though local media has questioned whether the nation has the capacity. Dorota Bartyzel, Fortune, 24 Feb. 2022 Mays said not having a unified response to the pandemic, as was the case in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, the three states that border the Navajo Nation, contributed to the spread of COVID-19. Arlyssa Becenti, The Arizona Republic, 24 Mar. 2022 The big pistons ticked away below in 6th gear, unhurried and unstrained, as the sun dipped towards the Coast Range foothills that border the highway. Bill Roberson, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About border

Time Traveler for border

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near border



border collie

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for border

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Border.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on border

Nglish: Translation of border for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of border for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!