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


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

The playful creatures are surrounded by a border of pink feathers. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About the Met Gala’s Wild Flamingo Centerpiece," 6 May 2019 In the event of a crisis the 2nd Cavalry would ride to NATO’s eastern border, helping to protect countries such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army is Upgrading the Stryker Armored Vehicle With a Bigger Gun," 3 May 2019 The image featured a photo of Barbara Bush smiling, surrounded by a blue and white border. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jenna Bush Hager Commemorates the Anniversary of Barbara Bush's Death with a Touching Instagram Post," 18 Apr. 2019 The president’s obsessions with physical border barriers and immigrant street gangs are better suited to 1992 than to 2018, anyway. Dara Lind, Vox, "William Barr hearing: attorney general nominee’s immigration record aligns with Trump’s," 16 Jan. 2019 Mexico is struggling to contain a surge of Central American migrants making their way to the U.S. border that has been fueled by a softening of Mexican migration policies and a severe drought in Guatemala. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico Struggles to Contain Surge in Central American Migrants," 5 Apr. 2019 But the throne has been overtaken, the borders of Iraden are under attack, and Raven’s rule is weakening. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "All the science fiction and fantasy books we’re looking forward to in 2019," 30 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Trump’s deployment of up to 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in advance of the migrant caravan is shaping up to cost $220 million, according to Defense Department officials. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: ‘You get an Amazon HQ2 and you get an Amazon HQ2!’," 6 Nov. 2018 On April 12, that could come to an end, rupturing one of the world’s most advanced, cross-border assembly lines. Jason Douglas And Alistair Macdonald, WSJ, "Fearing a No-Deal Brexit, British Companies Hoard Like It’s Wartime," 4 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In Arunachal Pradesh, a state in India’s northeast that borders Bhutan, China and Myanmar and where voting took place Thursday, most polling stations are located inside dense, Himalayan forest. Amrit Dhillon, The Seattle Times, "Poll workers journey to reach India’s most remote voters," 14 Apr. 2019 Leneghan has been endorsed by Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Rep. Jim Jordan, a conservative congressman who represents a district that partially borders Columbus. Eric Bradner, CNN, "Arizona result foreshadows a big special election battle in Ohio," 27 Apr. 2018 The area that borders the north side of Interstate 10 had a much higher median of $190,000 in 2006. Catherine Reagor, azcentral, "1st-time buyers, investors help propel home prices in Valley's most affordable areas," 15 Apr. 2018 The township also has been replacing aging decorative and chain-link fences and has agreed to put up a fence, under the township’s contract, for a school that borders the municipal building. Michaelle Bond,, "New Jersey governor wants 'czar' to encourage towns to share services," 23 Mar. 2018 At their school, in the district of Mae Sai bordering Myanmar, classmates pray to see them again. Time, "Grandfather of Trapped Thai Boy Says He’ll ‘Never Let Them Near a Cave Again’," 5 July 2018 The towns bordering 495 already get spillover traffic, mostly outbound, when the road is backed up. Washington Post, "Major New York-area traffic bottleneck about to get worse," 23 June 2018 Separately on Sunday, three members of another family were killed when homemade bombs exploded at an apartment in Sidoarjo, a town bordering Surabaya, police say. Niniek Karmini,, "Police headquarters in Indonesian city attacked after church bombings," 14 May 2018 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

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

10 May 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 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

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

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


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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