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

Authorities searched for Sheryl Powell, 60, who was camping in the White Mountains near the Nevada border. Kristin Lam, USA TODAY, "Police: A 69-year-old Arizona woman is missing in California's Mojave Desert without supplies, cellphone," 15 July 2019 Monsoon rains have also led to floods and rescue operations in Indian states south of the Nepal border, including Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Floods and landslides kill at least 65 people in Nepal and displace thousands," 15 July 2019 The woman, 60-year-old Sheryl Powell, was found on Monday in a remote area of Big Pine, California near the Nevada border, shortly after her dog was discovered by the search team, the Inyo County Sheriff’s office announced via Facebook. Ashley Boucher,, "Missing Hiker Found After Being Lost for 4 Days in Remote Area of Eastern California," 15 July 2019 In Baltimore, activist groups from Muslim, Jewish and Christian organizations condemned the Trump administration’s practice of separating immigrant children from their families near the Mexican border. Libby Solomon,, "'We are fighting back’: Across Maryland, activists rally against planned ICE raids," 13 July 2019 Many of them now live in overcrowded tents near the border with Turkey. Bassem Mroue,, "Stalled Idlib campaign shows limits of Syrian, Russian power," 13 July 2019 Salvi feels a kinship with the 120,000 people forced into internment camps during World War II, and the two women see parallels in the children separated from their parents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities near the border. Madeline Buckley,, "Under threat of raids, thousands march to ICE field office to protest immigration policy," 13 July 2019 One to 2 inches of rain is now expected west of Interstate 65, but amounts could be higher near the Mississippi border. Leigh Morgan,, "Hurricane Barry bringing torrential rain to parts of Alabama; what else is coming?," 13 July 2019 But Border Patrol agents in California and Texas — on opposite ends of the U.S./Mexico border — had seen the coin circulated at their workplaces. Dara Lind, ProPublica, "Border Patrol Agents Are Passing Around A Commemorative Coin Mocking Care for Migrant Kids," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With an unhittable pitch and stats bordering on absurdity, Kelley Lynch has become a legend in her hometown while honoring the memory of her father. Jacob Feldman,, "Kelley Lynch Wins Gatorade's 2019 National Female Athlete of the Year," 10 July 2019 However, sometime in the last 30 years, the glacier split in two parts, with the lower part eventually forming a lake bordered on one side by the Mendenhall Glacier. Author: Nolin Ainsworth, Anchorage Daily News, "Scientists take to the air to study outburst floods of glacial basin near Juneau," 6 July 2019 Upon crossing under one of two bridges, the water opens up into a large, natural swimming pool bordered by places for spectators to sit and read a book or watch the kids play. Patrick Connolly,, "Florida Springs Guide: Rock Springs at Kelly Park," 21 June 2019 The subtext of spousal abuse, coupled with a tragic fate that befalls one of the store’s workers, lends the film, by Thomas Stuber, a melancholy tone bordering on the morose. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Review: Exploring love while working the night-shift," 21 June 2019 North Kivu and Ituri sit on the eastern side of the country, bordering South Sudan, Uganda, and Rwanda. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Ebola spreads in Uganda, but not an international emergency, WHO says [Updated]," 14 June 2019 What just a few season ago would’ve felt classic and bordering-on-boring-passé, now seems relevant and fresh. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "In a Season of Sensational Runway Tailoring, the Best Investment Might Be a Suit from the Little Italian Label Giuliva Heritage," 6 Mar. 2019 On-screen, Kidman’s empathy seems to border on telepathy. Brooke Hauser, Marie Claire, "Nicole Kidman Makes Her Mark," 17 Sep. 2018 This version, adapted from Lewis’ original, uses lard instead of butter, which results in a light and flavorful — bordering on savory — biscuit. Sarah Fritsche, San Francisco Chronicle, "Recipe: Edna Lewis’ Lard Biscuits," 1 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

19 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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