bor·​der | \ ˈbȯr-dər How to pronounce border (audio) \

Definition of border

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an outer part or edge at the borders of the forest
2 textiles : an ornamental design at the edge of a fabric or rug
3 : a narrow bed of planted ground along the edge of a lawn or walkway a border of tulips
4 : boundary on the border between New York and Canada crossed the border into Italy
5 : a plain or decorative margin around printed matter wedding invitations with a delicate gold leaf border


bordered; bordering\ ˈbȯr-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce bordering (audio) \

Definition of border (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to put a border on a rug bordered with a pattern of leaves bordered the garden with pansies
2 : to touch at the edge or boundary : bound borders the city on the south Slovakia borders Poland.

intransitive verb

1 : to lie on the border the U.S. borders on Canada
2 : to approach the nature of a specified thing : verge borders on the ridiculous

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Other Words from border


bordered \ ˈbȯr-​dərd How to pronounce bordered (audio) \ adjective


borderer \ ˈbȯr-​dər-​ər How to pronounce borderer (audio) \ noun

Examples of border in a Sentence


He grew up in Malaysia, near the Indonesian border. They live just beyond the western border of the park. the border of the Sahara The quilt is quite plain except for its colorful border. a broad red border on each plate He planted pansies in the border.


Their property borders the park. Tall trees border the avenue. Two rivers border the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Gaza border remains violent, and there have been exchanges with Hezbollah and Iranian forces in the north. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "The Israeli Election Is Next Week, and Unprecedented Alliances Are Moving Against Netanyahu," 10 Sep. 2019 That meant the policy was blocked in the border states of California and Arizona but not in New Mexico and Texas., "Judge reinstates nationwide halt on Trump asylum policy plan - The Boston Globe," 10 Sep. 2019 Have any news tips or story ideas about the U.S.-Mexico border? Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Second border wall replacement project starts in Yuma, uses military funds," 10 Sep. 2019 Senate Democrats will force another vote against Trump’s border emergency declaration. NBC News, "North Carolina will remain a hot spot through November 2020," 10 Sep. 2019 Details of the flower garden, shade border, conservatory and other sections of Wave Hill are conveyed through engaging prose by Christopher and exquisite photography by Ngoc Minh Ngo. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Garden book review: ‘Nature Into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill’," 9 Sep. 2019 The Trump administration is siphoning billions from various defense projects to fund border wall construction, despite promises that Mexico would pay for it. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, "Rampell: We’re in the midst of Trump’s War on Children," 8 Sep. 2019 Top with peanut butter filling leaving a small border around the edge. Tara Bench, Country Living, "Hats and Bats Chocolate-Peanut Butter Tarts," 6 Sep. 2019 The deal, announced today (Sept. 6) and still to be finalized, would see China’s largest e-commerce company, whose business empire stretches from mobile payments to entertainment, monopolize the country’s online cross-border sales. Jane Li, Quartz, "What trade war? Alibaba splurges $2 billion on a rival that sells foreign goods," 6 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The economy of Zimbabwe, an African nation of more than 14 million north of South Africa and bordered by Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia, collapsed under Mugabe after 37 years of near one-party rule. Phil Helsel, NBC News, "Robert Mugabe, former Zimbabwe president, dead at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Developers are descending on the area roughly bordered by the Savin Hill T stop to the north, the Fields Corner T stop to the south, Dorchester Avenue to the west, and the Red Line tracks to the east. Sarah Wu,, "‘As Boston rises, so should we all’ — residents wonder what development will bring to Dorchester neighborhood," 6 Sep. 2019 His team has just completed a tree count in its 275-block area bordered by Date Street (north), 17th Street, (east), Harbor Drive (south) and Pacific Highway (west) — 236 trees are missing. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Whodunit? Case of the missing downtown San Diego trees," 9 Aug. 2019 The neighborhood is a mixture of Bahamian, Haitian, Dominican, and Cuban, and is bordered by the Little River, a brackish, semi-polluted canal. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Survival of Iggy Pop," 26 Aug. 2019 The neighborhood plan set aside a 2.2-acre parcel for a school, a fenced-in lot bordered by Owens Street, Sixth Street and Nelson Rising Lane. J.k. Dineen,, "Mission Bay has much to offer as Chase Center opens. But where’s the school?," 25 Aug. 2019 In the central court, the running-bond pattern gives way to a stunning carpet of square pavers bordered by Mexican river pebbles. Emily Young, Los Angeles Times, "A Santa Monica backyard is remade for outdoor entertaining," 22 Aug. 2019 The backyard retreat offers a private park setting bordered by towering redwoods and foliage, and a seasonal creek. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: This classic, lovingly crafted home built by Branagh blends formality with all the comforts you desire," 21 Aug. 2019 Washington and her four children live now on a quiet Northwest Side street bordered by neat lawns, in a small frame house up a flight of wooden stairs. Mary Schmich,, "Column: Three years after Tavon Tanner was shot, he and his twin sister find quiet among peaceful streets," 9 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'border.' 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 border


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for border


Middle English bordure, from Anglo-French, from border to border, from Old French bort border, of Germanic origin; probably akin to Old English bord board

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Statistics for border

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for border

The first known use of border was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for border


bor·​der | \ ˈbȯr-dər How to pronounce border (audio) \

Kids Definition of border

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a boundary especially of a country or state
2 : the outer edge of something the border of the woods
3 : a decorative strip on or near the edge of something


bordered; bordering

Kids Definition of border (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a border on Border the garden with flowers.
2 : to be close or next to The United States borders on Canada.


bor·​der | \ ˈbȯrd-ər How to pronounce border (audio) \

Medical Definition of border

: an outer part or edge — see brush border

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More from Merriam-Webster on border

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with border

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for border

Spanish Central: Translation of border

Nglish: Translation of border for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of border for Arabic Speakers

Comments on border

What made you want to look up border? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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