Definition of border state
1 sometimes capitalized B&S a : a state (such as Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, or Missouri) bordering on an antislavery state and favoring slavery before the Civil War b : a state (such as Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, or Tennessee) just north of the Solid South and traditionally voting Democratic c : a state (such as Montana or North Dakota) bordering on Canada
2 : a small country (such as Poland) bordering on a larger more powerful country; especially : such a country lying between two larger more powerful countries : buffer state
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