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

Both Hervey and Williams were considered borderline selections. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "TCU star misses on draft while UTA forward is picked," 21 June 2018 The Bulls paid Wade $38.5 million for one season of borderline relevance on the court. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Dwyane Wade's off-court work in his one season with Bulls made a powerful impact," 29 Mar. 2018 Now Angie and their daughter Gianna are running down to the field, borderline hysterical. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: This Roncalli coach collapsed. His heart stopped. A defibrillator saved his life.," 21 May 2018 Riley sound as confused over this as the rest of us over why Whiteside went from a borderline great player his first two seasons to a guy who couldn’t get on the court this playoff series.. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde10: Ten interesting quotes from Pat Riley on where Heat go now," 30 Apr. 2018 Clinton herself borderline mocked the whole episode. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "How did ‘likability’ become a thing for women in politics?," 18 Jan. 2019 Would Brazil have gotten a couple of borderline calls late on if Neymar’s reputation for simulation didn’t precede him? Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Brazil is no longer the class of world soccer," 6 July 2018 Voter fraud as commonly understood — people illegally casting voters — is borderline nonexistent. Dylan Scott, Vox, "There’s election fraud in North Carolina. That’s not the same thing as voter fraud.," 11 Dec. 2018 The guy who was previously borderline inept against right-handed pitching lined a 1-1 cutter from right-hander Drew Rucinski to left field. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres' Renfroe again provides late lift in win over Marlins," 9 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

11 Jun 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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