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

On the Baltimore Museum of Art’s first floor, there are relics from the United States’ Southern border. Talia Richman,, "Erick Antonio Benitez named winner of 2018 Sondheim Artscape Prize," 15 July 2018 Unlike the old Boko Haram, which did not bother to govern, ISWAP is consolidating control of border villages. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Kristen Bell is hitting back against President Donald Trump‘s immigration policy that has separated thousands of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border. Alexia Fernandez,, "Kristen Bell Slams Donald Trump's Immigration Policy: 'Do Not Underestimate the Love of Family'," 13 July 2018 There, protesters banged pots and pans and played recordings of crying children separated from their parents at the Mexican border in an attempt to keep him awake. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "London’s ‘Trump Baby’ Balloon Flies as Protests Take Off Across U.K.," 13 July 2018 The Post-Schar School poll found a 65 percent majority of adults supported increasing funding for border security programs, including majorities of Democrats (52 percent), independents (66 percent) and Republicans (90 percent). Scott Clement, Washington Post, "The public rejected Trump’s child-separation policy, but a majority supports his push to detain families until court hearings," 13 July 2018 The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Chinese officials, said Beijing was considering holding up licenses for U.S. companies, delaying approvals of mergers and increasing border inspections of U.S. goods. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Hollywood Get Caught in Trump's China Trade War Crossfire?," 13 July 2018 The recent battle over the separation of immigrant families at the border and the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice has only reinforced the contrast between Democrats and Republicans running this fall. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Democrats push for unity in California House races after bruising primary," 13 July 2018 Nearly two decades later, border crossings look remarkably different. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "The Changing Face of Illegal Border Crossings," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Eve is observant and obsessive, with a fascination with the macabre that borders on the erotic. Caroline Framke, Vox, "Killing Eve’s funny, frightening third episode shows why it’s the best TV surprise of the year," 29 Apr. 2018 Our test car also exhaled through an optional sport exhaust that bordered on the boorish, being notably loud and with a fusillade of pops and bangs accompanying every lift off the throttle. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Dallara Stradale: A Racing Legend Hits the Road," 23 Mar. 2018 Blowing a four-point lead with less than one second remaining in regulation is a feat of basketball engineering that borders on the inconceivable. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville basketball's loss to Virginia borders on the inconceivable | Tim Sullivan," 2 Mar. 2018 This is a rum that's bordering on the world of single malt Scotch. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "The Best Cuban Rum Brands to Buy Today," 15 Apr. 2017 The town still needs to close on the $265,000 sale with the Riley family on the 2.54-acre lot bordering the Wash Brook, just west of the Prosser Public Library. Steven Goode, Courant Community, "Riley Lumber Property Purchase In Sight," 14 July 2018 Peoria's zoning laws, for example, include an ordinance setting out regulations for sand and gravel operations, requiring the businesses to put a 300-foot buffer between production equipment and any property line bordering residences. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018 Last year, Iowa joined the rest of Illinois’ bordering states — Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin — in allowing fireworks sales. Robert Mccoppin,, "Legal fireworks in Illinois? Despite annual injury toll, lawmaker proposes that state join pyrotechnics market," 10 July 2018 The corresponding ultra-thick, 100-percent cotton Crane’s cards are hand-bordered. Katie Kiefner, Vogue, "Send All of Your Summer Thank You Notes on This Stunning Stationery," 10 July 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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Phrases Related to border

border on

herbaceous border

the border

Statistics for border

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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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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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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