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

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 But that momentum-turning success was negated by a borderline roughing-the-passer call against Nick Williams for shoving Wentz in the back a beat after the quarterback’s incomplete throw to Mack Hollins was away. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The Bears are a last-place team because their offense is a disaster. But a once-special defense is now just merely decent.," 4 Nov. 2019 His ascension into the starter job is borderline miraculous, and not because of Manaea’s folksy baseball background. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "How A’s Sean Manaea went from nearly out of rotation to wild-card starter," 1 Oct. 2019 So, Cameroon couldn’t believe it when VAR jumped in again with a borderline call to take away the goal. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Cameroon players were furious after questionable VAR ruling took away a goal," 23 June 2019 Meanwhile, xFIP pegs the Cubs’ bullpen as a borderline top-10 unit, not an elite top-5. Skip Snow, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs odds, picks and best bets," 16 Sep. 2019 McCready’s middle-of-the-road approach didn’t offend any of the county’s borderline conservatives’ values. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Two Dans, Two Elections, and No Winners," 10 Sep. 2019 Their lineup is littered with borderline ballplayers, men who would not sniff starting spots for franchises who aspire for championships. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros keep rolling, dismantle Athletics," 9 Sep. 2019 The Nighthawk is a mean-looking jet, borderline unearthly. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the F-117 Nighthawk Is Such a Badass Plane," 12 Aug. 2019 Reichner was a borderline starter, and probably in all likelihood on the second unit. oregonlive.com, "Oregon State football reader mailbag: You ask the question, we attempt the answer," 9 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Fringe-y/borderline/ticking-time-bomb people are always out there and probably have active imaginations that go way beyond what sometimes pops up in movies. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Reporter Film Critics Debate: Does 'Joker' Have a Problematic Punchline?," 1 Oct. 2019 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 2019

Time Traveler for borderline

The first known use of borderline was in 1907

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More Definitions for borderline

borderline

adjective
How to pronounce borderline (audio)

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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