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 The clear message is that any Democrats hostile to this Republican hero are vicious, misjudged and borderline traitorous. The Economist, "Political cartoons Why the Democratic Party is symbolised by a donkey," 14 Jan. 2020 This four-person scramble is designed to be extremely challenging and sometimes borderline unfair. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "McDonogh holds on to No. 2 spot in state football rankings," 29 Oct. 2019 Even though this is all perfectly legal and borderline encouraged in California, it was seen as further evidence that Musk had gone wobbly. Devin Gordon, The Atlantic, "I Tried to Live Like Joe Rogan," 19 Aug. 2019 Ryan Bethencourt, the company’s CEO, was fending off attacks from a few of the judges, enduring accusations that forcing our furry friends to forgo meat is unnatural and borderline crazy. Brian Kateman, Quartz, "Vegan pets sound bougie, but they might just save the Earth," 12 June 2019 That heavy-handed sensibility also influences the comic relief, which is reduced to easy laughs and borderline fourth-wall-breaking quips. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, "‘The King’s Speech’ amounts to a stale retelling," 13 Feb. 2020 That’s a borderline low-confidence play, although a price closer to +180 would more strongly encourage a play. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks odds, picks and best bets," 11 Feb. 2020 Waiting for a fresh, wet manicure to set is borderline painful. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "How to Speed Up Your Manicure," 10 Feb. 2020 Speaking as an architecture critic, this is insane and borderline-totalitarian. Kate Wagner, The New Republic, "Duncing About Architecture," 8 Feb. 2020 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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Time Traveler for borderline

Time Traveler

The first known use of borderline was in 1907

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Statistics for borderline

Last Updated

18 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Borderline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/borderline. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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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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