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

Overall, though, the sanctions have hit Iran’s economy hard, curtailing its oil sales, sending foreign investment plummeting and making money transfers across borders difficult. Isabel Coles, WSJ, "Iran Works to Keep Iraq Open for Business," 15 Jan. 2019 As Murad was receiving her prize in Oslo, Iraq celebrated the anniversary of its costly victory over IS, which still carries out sporadic attacks and controls a remote enclave just across the border in Syria. Sinan Salaheddin, The Seattle Times, "Nobel laureate returns to Iraq, pledges to work for peace," 12 Dec. 2018 Malignant moles tend to have asymmetrical or irregular borders, uneven color, a diameter greater than six millimeters, and/or a rapidly changing appearance. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 Immigrants apprehended at the border can dodge immediate deportation by seeking asylum. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Chief Justice and the President," 27 Dec. 2018 At the border, the father/son pair is threatened by the police and told not to enter the town, despite their residence there. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "The "Riverdale" Mid-Season Finale Left Us Shook and With Multiple Questions," 13 Dec. 2018 But on Wednesday's episode, things got especially fiery when the women began discussing the Trump administration's use of tear gas at the U.S. border. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Star Whoopi Goldberg Calls "B.S." on Meghan McCain During Wednesday's Episode," 29 Nov. 2018 The caravan was met at the border by about 100 Guatemalan police officers. Fox News, "Honduran migrant caravan crosses Guatemala border, US-bound," 15 Oct. 2018 Between May 7 and June 20, the Trump administration instructed U.S. Customs and Border Protection to place any adult immigrants who crossed the border illegally in federal custody. Phil Mccausland /, NBC News, "Government says around 2,551 migrant children still need reunification with parents," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The sheer quantity of shots that James is taking from 27 feet and beyond is bordering on the absurd. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "How LeBron James Became Stephen Curry," 20 Dec. 2018 Other than All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who batted .364 and homered twice, the top of Cleveland’s lineup bordered on embarrassing. Tom Withers, The Seattle Times, "Bitter finish: Indians’ first-round exit leaves sour taste," 9 Oct. 2018 In fact, keeping up with Pete and Ariana’s ink escapades can border on practically being an Olympic sport. Dan Barna, Teen Vogue, "Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande Got Another Set of Matching Tattoos," 21 Sep. 2018 All the while, the hero builds a friendship, bordering on romance, with a shy baker who’s skilled at tai chi. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Get ready for the World Cup final with Shaolin Soccer," 13 July 2018 The two results set up a mouth-watering semifinal between bordering nations, while also ensuring that the winner of this World Cup will emerge from UEFA, with the remaining South American nations eliminated. Grant Wahl,, "Belgium Gets it Right vs. Brazil, France Shows Mettle in Reaching World Cup Semifinals," 6 July 2018 There’s no indoor seating, but the takeout window borders a public park with picnic benches and cafe tables., "CommonWealth Kitchen opens retail spot with a takeout window in Kendall Square," 26 June 2018 But there’s an exhaustion, bordering on resignation, with this Cavaliers team. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sweep? Warriors won’t say it, but that’s what they want," 7 June 2018 Some of those areas are bordering suburban districts that have aggressively recruited Detroit students. Lori Higgins, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit's far-reaching strategy to fill its schools," 29 May 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

18 Jan 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 \

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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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

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