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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The government was slow to close borders despite its close proximity to the disease's origin in Wuhan, only shuttering incoming flights from Hubei province on February 1 and later extending the ban to China's Zhejiang on February 13. Fox News, "Why Japan appears to have avoided a mass coronavirus outbreak," 24 Mar. 2020 Earlier this month, Peru issued a state of emergency, closing all international borders and leaving many Americans stranded and unable to get out. NBC News, "Iran records more than 1,400 new cases in 24 hours," 24 Mar. 2020 Migrants caught crossing the border illegally are transported to the nearest port of entry and returned to Mexico or Canada. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Trump administration postpones 'Remain in Mexico' court hearings over coronavirus concerns," 24 Mar. 2020 By the beginning of March, the Italian government closed the borders altogether and implemented the most dramatic nationwide restrictions since World War II. Rachel King, Fortune, "Italian winemakers grapple with the coronavirus lockdown," 22 Mar. 2020 One complication is that some of those returned could immediately attempt to cross the border again an hour later and get caught again, making more work for agents. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Coronavirus Patrol: Border agents quietly begin sending Mexicans back across the border," 20 Mar. 2020 For many countries, battling the new coronavirus means closing borders to foreigners and then containing the spread at home. Eric Bellman, WSJ, "Coronavirus Leaves India Grappling With Its Vulnerable Diaspora," 20 Mar. 2020 While serving as a federal judge, Duggan sentenced Detroit Red Wing Bob Probert to six months in prison for trying to cross the Canadian border with cocaine tucked in his undies. M.l. Elrick, Detroit Free Press, "Federal judge and father of Detroit mayor dies after lengthy illness," 19 Mar. 2020 Aside from forcing numerous nations to close borders, the new coronavirus has had a substantial impact on the entertainment industry, with most TV series ceasing or halting production. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Daniel Dae Kim Tests Positive for Coronavirus: "Please Stop the Prejudice and Senseless Violence Against Asian People"," 19 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s not stability, that’s instability bordering on chaos. oregonlive, "Marcus Mariota: 'Stability’ top reason why I signed with the Las Vegas Raiders," 26 Mar. 2020 Third, the risks seemed obvious in hindsight: a housing bubble bordering on mania, complicated and novel financial products, and rising interest rates. James Pethokoukis, TheWeek, "Is coronavirus really a black swan event?," 8 Mar. 2020 Walter’s rants in Freedom often feel like the writer using his character as a pulpit—the overall affect of his fiction is tender, bordering on hopeful. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "The Hottest New Literary Genre Is ‘Doomer Lit’," 17 Feb. 2020 The Baroque forms at the heart of the concerto’s three brief movements were palpable even as Josefowicz tore into them with a physicality bordering on the aggressive and the music itself wandered into caustic realms. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra soars in Sibelius, Knussen with boost from gifted champions," 7 Feb. 2020 The magnum rimfire has killing power bordering on mysterious. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "Best New Hunting and Trail Handguns from the 2020 SHOT Show," 3 Feb. 2020 The narration is majestically calming, and the camerawork is attentive, bordering on sensual. Erin Berger, Outside Online, "3 New(ish) Nature Documentaries You Need to Watch," 2 Feb. 2020 The ride quality is comfortable, bordering on extra firm for the sake of stability. Arv Voss, Houston Chronicle, "2020 Toyota 86 Hakone: New sport coupe emerges," 31 Jan. 2020 The tone had to be stern, bordering on argumentative, in order to show the depths of their anger that Trump was, once again, the victim of a Democratic smear campaign. Dahleen Glanton,, "Column: Republicans used the first impeachment hearing to lay out ‘alternative facts.’ Is it enough to win support?," 13 Nov. 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.

See 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

Statistics for border

Last Updated

28 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Border.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on border

What made you want to look up border? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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