borderline

adjective
bor·​der·​line | \ˈbȯr-dər-ˌlīn \

Definition of borderline 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : being in an intermediate position or state : not fully classifiable as one thing or its opposite a borderline state between waking and sleeping

b : not quite up to, typical of, or as severe as what is usual, standard, or expected borderline intelligence borderline hypertension

c : characterized by psychological instability in several areas (such as interpersonal relations, behavior, and identity) but only with brief or no psychotic episodes a borderline personality disorder

2 : situated at or near a border a borderline town

borderline

adverb

Definition of borderline (Entry 2 of 2)

: almost, nearly borderline tacky borderline suicidal

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Other Words from borderline

Adjective

borderline noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for borderline

Synonyms: Adjective

frontier, marginal

Synonyms: Adverb

about, all but, almost, fair [chiefly British], fairly, feckly [chiefly Scottish], more or less, most, much, near, nearly, next to, nigh, practically, somewhere, virtually, well-nigh

Antonyms: Adjective

interior

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Examples of borderline in a Sentence

Adjective

In borderline cases like these, the best course of action is difficult to determine. As a borderline diabetic, Lara is able to control her blood sugar levels solely through diet.

Adverb

The movie is only borderline funny. your answer was borderline rude, so I would advise you to be more diplomatic in the future
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

From the idyllic setting, to the pure relaxation that Teigen and the clan appear to be experiencing, the family's trip looks borderline perfect. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Are on a Gorgeous Beach Vacation with Miles and Luna," 29 July 2018 Reggie Miller is borderline, and Lisa Leslie, looking regal in a white wig, has even more presence than Shaq does. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Uncle Drew,’ Kyrie dribbles, Kyrie shoots, Kyrie acts," 27 June 2018 But for the record, Simmons is already playing at a borderline All-NBA level for a team with 50 wins. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "Ben Simmons Is Rookie of the Year, But Where Will He Go From Here?," 11 Apr. 2018 The President's veto threat -- and his borderline obsession with the issue as a negotiating chip, as several sources describe it -- make the fight not worth it. Phil Mattingly, CNN, "Lawmakers eagerly await bill to avert government shutdown as deadline nears," 20 Mar. 2018 Jody had a complicated birth that led to a lack of oxygen and borderline developmental disabilities. Kaiser Health News, Washington Post, "Readers And Tweeters Add Two Cents On Amazon Venture To Repackage Health Care," 6 Feb. 2018 On top of that, some companies *coughApplecough* have a borderline absurd obsession with thinness in their gadgets. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Why Smartphone Batteries Might Be About to Get Way Better," 19 Aug. 2016 There’s always more brisket and borderline erotic duck jambalaya. Andy Staples, SI.com, "The Chaos and Consequences of the BCS, 20 Years After Its Inaugural Season," 9 July 2018 Historically, the Bulls have taken an aggressive, borderline take-it-or-leave-it stance on extensions. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Zach LaVine could draw Kings' ransom in free agency," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Both teams came out hitting to start Game 2 and the intensity jumped another level after McNabb’s borderline hit on Kuznetsov. Adam Candee, Detroit Free Press, "2018 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Golden Knights-Capitals Game 2 observations," 30 May 2018 In the middle of this, I was tested for gestational diabetes, and the result came back borderline. The Cut, "The Mom Who Faced the Odds of Getting Pregnant at 44," 14 Sep. 2017 There’s no doubting the existence and growing popularity online of conspiratorial—and borderline demented—commentary on Russia. Jeet Heer, New Republic, "No, Liberals Are Not Falling for Conspiracy Theories Just Like Conservatives Do," 23 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'borderline.' 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 borderline

Adjective

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

1925, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for borderline

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for borderline

The first known use of borderline was in 1907

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More Definitions for borderline

borderline

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of borderline

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having some but not all characteristics of something

: not quite as severe as what is usual or expected

: existing at or near a border

borderline

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of borderline (Entry 2 of 2)

: almost or nearly

borderline

adjective
bor·​der·​line | \ˈbȯr-dər-ˌlīn \

Kids Definition of borderline

: not quite average, standard, or normal She's a borderline student for advanced math.

borderline

adjective
bor·​der·​line | \-ˌlīn\

Medical Definition of borderline 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being in an intermediate position or state : not fully classifiable as one thing or its opposite especially : not quite up to what is usual, standard, or expected borderline intelligence

2 : exhibiting typical but not altogether conclusive symptoms a borderline diabetic

3 : of, relating to, being, or exhibiting a behavior pattern typical or suggestive of borderline personality disorder a borderline patient borderline behavior

borderline

noun

Medical Definition of borderline (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person affected with borderline personality disorder

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