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 Right now waters in the ENSO region are borderline El Niño, but there are signs the warm phase is on its way out. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "An active hurricane season will strain emergency response amid pandemic, forecasters warn," 29 Apr. 2020 At the respiratory clinic the next day, the doctor determined that my breathing was too fast and my temperature was borderline high. Pooja Yerramilli, STAT, "I was a ‘perfect setup’ to be fooled by Covid-19," 17 Apr. 2020 The story might be borderline overstuffed, but even the most frantic action is kept aloft by a delightful score from Mark Mothersbaugh, which ranges from jazzy big-band sounds to techno funk. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Willoughbys': Film Review," 23 Apr. 2020 Instead, not one but two actresses from the misguided and borderline cartoonish Bombshell get nominated; Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie in the best lead and supporting categories, respectively. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "12 Snubs and Surprises from the 2020 Oscar Nominations," 14 Jan. 2020 Years later, he was diagnosed with major depression and borderline antisocial personality disorder, his family said, and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder, illnesses that often go hand-in-hand with substance misuse. Katharine Q. Seelye Photographs By Todd Heisler, New York Times, "1 Son, 4 Overdoses, 6 Hours," 21 Jan. 2018 That might not sound like a huge price drop for a (borderline essential) game that came out three years ago, but as with most major first-party Nintendo Switch games, major discounts on BotW have been rare. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "A bunch of Nintendo Switch games are on sale today," 7 Apr. 2020 But cantankerous Woody—a lifelong alcoholic with borderline dementia—wants his million bucks. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Road Trip Movies," 25 Mar. 2020 Others were borderline devastated, seeing the news as a sign that life isn't going back to normal any time soon. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest in Milwaukee is postponed because of coronavirus, and fans on Twitter are shaken up," 23 Mar. 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

13 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Borderline.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/borderline. Accessed 28 May. 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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