borderline

adjective
bor·​der·​line | \ ˈbȯr-dər-ˌlīn How to pronounce borderline (audio) \

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

With the sun starting to dip at tree levels, the temperature for the final hour of the first practice was borderline comfortable. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Football practices are here and so is the urgency," 14 Aug. 2019 The lyrics don't make a whole hell of a lot of sense, but with Donovan imbuing them with religious reverence, this is five minutes of borderline nonsense that cuts deep. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Best Songs of 1969: Staff Picks," 14 Aug. 2019 While Williams' washing machine hamper hack seems borderline clever, the idea of darks, lights and possibly dry-clean only clothes being mixed and washed together is a bit cringeworthy. Danielle Harling, House Beautiful, "Wendy Williams's Alternative to Using a Hamper Is...Weird," 16 May 2019 The safety position is an evolving one in the NFL, but Diggs is borderline top-10 material now. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions need more top-100 players. Here's who could get there," 3 Aug. 2019 In the meantime, other apps such as Apple’s Find My Friends, Snapchat’s Snap Maps, and the borderline omniscient Life 360 all got in on the action. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, "The Terrible Anxiety of Location Sharing Apps," 28 July 2019 Kasi Lemmons, an actor and director who most recently was behind an episode of Luke Cage, is directing this tense-looking biopic about Harriet Tubman that turns her work on the Underground Railroad into a borderline action movie. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "New trailers: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Zombieland: Double Tap, and more," 27 July 2019 He’s currently being drafted as a borderline starter at the position. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Fantasy Football 2019: Tennessee Titans Preview," 19 July 2019 Yet the result is its own one-of-a-kind thing: lush, textured, inscrutable, borderline eerie. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "At the Peabody Essex, marvelousness made visible," 18 July 2019

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

20 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce borderline (audio) \

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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Comments on borderline

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