bor·​der·​land | \ˈbȯr-dər-ˌland \

Definition of borderland 

1a : territory at or near a border

b : fringe sense 3a lives on the borderland of society

2 : a vague intermediate state or region the borderland between fantasy and reality

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for borderland


border, frontier, march

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of borderland in a Sentence

in the borderland between sleeping and waking He describes adolescence as the tumultuous borderlands between childhood and adulthood.

Recent Examples on the Web

Stories of migrant children mixed into the adult jail population proliferated in the local press of borderland communities, often prompting public outcry. Brianna Nofil, Time, "Family Separation Is Officially Over, but History Suggests the U.S. Won't Find a Good Solution for Migrant Children," 28 June 2018 Southwest Key has long branded itself as an angel of the borderlands, stepping in to help solve one of the nation’s most vexing social services problems, with constantly changing demands amid shifts in immigration policy. Mark Collette, Joshua Fechter And Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, "Companies earn billions to shelter immigrant children," 29 June 2018 For decades prior, the southwestern borderlands had prospered under a more fluid, humane and practical definition of boundaries, driven in large part by the wants and needs of the blended, binational border communities. Time Staff, Time, "The 25 Moments From American History That Matter Right Now," 28 June 2018 Currently, there are about 390 Guard members stationed along the Arizona borderlands as part of Operation Guardian Support. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "National Guard sent to Arizona border ports to help strained customs officers," 31 May 2018 Director Roman Bondarchuk's surreal black comedy takes place in the visually striking borderlands of southern Ukraine. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Subsequently, all eyes turned to the once lawless western borderland with Afghanistan. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Trump's wrath forces Pakistan to double down on push to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries," 10 July 2018 The wars also fueled worries about smugglers running guns into Mexico, refugees fleeing to the United States and international espionage in the borderlands. Rachel St. John, Smithsonian, "The Raging Controversy at the Border Began With This Incident 100 Years Ago," 26 June 2018 In the borderlands of Nigeria, school attendance for girls is as much an act of war against Boko Haram as picking up a gun. Mark Sappenfield, The Christian Science Monitor, "Nigeria’s schoolgirl rebellion," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'borderland.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of borderland

1811, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about borderland

Share borderland

Statistics for borderland

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for borderland

The first known use of borderland was in 1811

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for borderland



English Language Learners Definition of borderland

: the land on either side of a border between countries

: an unclear state or condition that is between two things and is like each of them in some ways

More from Merriam-Webster on borderland

See words that rhyme with borderland

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for borderland

Comments on borderland

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


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!