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

In 2016, Thomas completed an 82-mile swim across Lake Powell along the Arizona-Utah border that took her 56 hours. Lori Riley,, "UConn grad, cancer survivor Sarah Thomas completes record-setting four-way English Channel swim," 17 Sep. 2019 Republicans hold a lead of four percentage points in voter registration in the district, which stretches from Mono County to San Bernardino County along the Nevada border. Los Angeles Times, "California Republican Rep. Paul Cook to retire from Congress, run for county supervisor seat," 17 Sep. 2019 The marijuana was packaged and stacked from floor to ceiling inside the SUV in the county located along the U.S. border with Mexico. Fox News, "Abandoned SUV in Texas had 1,127 pounds of marijuana inside, driver left wallet in vehicle, sheriff's office says," 16 Sep. 2019 There are salads and rice bowls refracted through Fire & Spice's border-town thing too. Matt Wake |, al, "A Huntsville taco that puts The South in your mouth," 16 Sep. 2019 This is my first trip of community service at US/Mexico border, definitely not my last. Joelle Goldstein,, "Kelly Ripa Shares Photos from Her First Community Service Trip to the US-Mexico Border," 16 Sep. 2019 Along the southwestern border, its work was dusty and lonely. New York Times, "‘People Actively Hate Us’: Inside the Border Patrol’s Morale Crisis," 15 Sep. 2019 Trade historically consists of sales of physical goods across national borders. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Time to explain the basics of trade," 15 Sep. 2019 Many migrants are housed in shelters along the border. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "'A Permanent Limbo State.' Migrants in Mexico Are Running Out of Options After Supreme Court Asylum Decision," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As patient numbers grew, the geography of the outbreak expanded, first largely affecting states that are contiguous with Wisconsin and Illinois and then other states bordering those. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Hunt for Cause of Vaping Illness Suggests Multiple Mechanisms of Damage," 17 Sep. 2019 The purchase comes a year after the Redwoods League bought the nearby 160-acre Red Hill sequoia grove, bordering the South Fork of the Tule River. Peter Fimrite,, "Biggest private sequoia grove to be preserved in deal with Redwoods League," 17 Sep. 2019 Then hook right at once at the hairpin and climb on the Toyon Trail, enjoying some Griffith Park and Glendale views — and the shade thrown by pine and eucalyptus trees bordering the trail. Los Angeles Times, "Hike this lush, shaded loop near Griffith Park’s Travel Town," 13 Sep. 2019 State police arrived at the reservoirs around 9:30 Thursday morning and searched wooded areas bordering biking and walking trails into the early afternoon. Slade Rand,, "State Police return to West Hartford reservoirs to search for evidence in disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos," 12 Sep. 2019 Gurugram, India, a city bordering New Delhi, was ranked as having the world’s worst air quality last year, followed by another New Delhi neighbor, Ghaziabad, and Faisalabad in western Pakistan. Gerry Shih, Washington Post, "Beijing air improves significantly in past five years, study finds," 12 Sep. 2019 There was a hill above the camp that commanded a view of a moose pasture, bordered at the far end by a small lake. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Whether it’s fire, floods or even locusts, try to adapt to what nature throws at you," 11 Sep. 2019 Hiroto Saikawa’s tone bordered on defiant Sunday when discussing his future as chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co. Fortune, "How Nissan’s CEO Went From Defiant to Fired in 24 Hours," 10 Sep. 2019 The summer after his freshman year of college, Clarke overdosed at his grandmother’s house in Port Richmond, a neighborhood bordering Kensington. Rebecca Tan, Longreads, "Paul Clarke Wants to Live," 3 Sep. 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.

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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

11 Oct 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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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