\ ˈbȯrn How to pronounce borne (audio) \

Definition of borne

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past participle of bear


\ ˈbȯrn How to pronounce borne (audio) \

Definition of borne (Entry 2 of 2)

: transported or transmitted by used in combination soilborneairborne

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Borne is, just like born, the past participle of the verb bear, which can mean (among other things) "to contain" or "to give birth to." At first, borne and born were variant spellings of the same adjective. Used as in water-borne (or water-born), it means "carried by." In the phrase "borne enemies" (or "born enemies"), it means "from birth." To add to the confusion, the spelling borne sees occasional use in the passive voice in the "to give birth to" sense, as in "two sons were borne by his wife." In combining forms, born is reserved for the adjective related to birth (as in newly-born and Massachusetts-born) and borne retains the sense of "carried" ("airborne passengers").

Examples of borne in a Sentence

Adjective My book surveys the public-health landscape from food-borne and insectborne diseases to antibiotic resistance, from infectious causes of chronic afflictions to bioterrorism. — Madeline Drexler, Wilson Quarterly, Summer 2002 The news carried by mail coach is an exact inversion of the railroad-borne news in Charles Dickens's Dombey and Son (1844-46). — John Plotz, The Crowd, 2000 I would tend to think your strawberries died from other causes. Strawberries need excellent drainage and a sandy, acidic soil that has good air space to encourage root health. They like a soil that has been amended with compost. But strawberries can succumb to soil-borne diseases. — Kathy Huber, Houston Chronicle, 3 Oct. 1998
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That's followed by glimpses of Chalamet's Edgar inadvertently puncturing a football, attracting a field of magnets in science class, and more scissorhands-borne mishaps. Tyler Aquilina,, 7 Feb. 2021 That mosquito-borne illness infected at least 38 people in the northeast and Midwest and killed 15 of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 12 May 2020 With pandemic preparedness, a respiratory-borne illness was always the big worry. Matthew Herper, STAT, 6 Mar. 2020 Ninety percent of health care organizations were hit with email-borne attacks last year, according to research released on Tuesday by Mimecast. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, 13 Mar. 2020 Sanders, volunteer coordinator at the Historical Society of Washington, clutched the roll of paper tightly, lest it be blown out of his hands and borne to 20th Street NW, eight stories down. John Kelly, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2019 By combining those data with the floats’ own current-borne trajectories, investigators can reconstruct overall currents and their speed. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 5 Feb. 2020 In all the history of respiratory-borne viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. NBC News, 28 Jan. 2020 Due to mounting concerns over the mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis, the start time for the UConn football team’s home game against South Florida on Saturday has been switched from 7 p.m. to noon, the school announced Sunday. Chris Brodeur,, 29 Sep. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'borne.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of borne


circa 1559, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of borne was circa 1559

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Cite this Entry

“Borne.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for borne


Kids Definition of borne

past participle of bear


Medical Definition of borne

past part of bear


Legal Definition of borne

past participle of bear

More from Merriam-Webster on borne

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for borne

Nglish: Translation of borne for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of borne for Arabic Speakers


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