demarcate

verb

de·​mar·​cate di-ˈmär-ˌkāt How to pronounce demarcate (audio) ˈdē-ˌmär- How to pronounce demarcate (audio)
demarcated; demarcating

transitive verb

1
: delimit
a plot of land demarcated by a low stone wall
2
: to set apart : distinguish
demarcate teachers as mentor, master and model teachers based on their level of educationShanay Cadette

Did you know?

Demarcate is set apart by its unique history. Scholars think it may have descended from the Italian verb marcare ("to mark"), which is itself of Germanic origin (the Old High German word for boundary, marha, is a relative). Marcare is the probable source of the Spanish marcar (also "to mark"), from which comes the Spanish demarcar ("to fix the boundary of"). In 1494, a Spanish noun, demarcación, was used to name the meridian dividing New World territory between Spain and Portugal. Later (about 1730), English speakers began calling this boundary the "line of demarcation," and eventually we began applying that phrase to other dividing lines as well. Demarcation, in turn, gave rise to demarcate in the early 19th century.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Then demarcate the central ~90% area as the bounds of the population distribution. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 26 Sep. 2012 Two cars had hit each other, ricocheted in opposite directions, and come to rest against concrete barriers on either side, slipping between the plastic posts meant to demarcate the bike lanes. Curbed, 20 July 2022 There are no natural boundaries or any lines that demarcate clear political or ethnic divisions in the United States or within any of the states. Siva Vaidhyanathan, The New Republic, 7 Dec. 2022 Telescope observations should be able to tell within a few years if that’s happening, which will help reveal our own planet’s future and further demarcate the knife’s-edge distinction between hostile and habitable worlds across the galaxy. Quanta Magazine, 3 Nov. 2022 One reason is to demarcate a baseline of election normalcy. Bradley A. Smith, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2022 Schools in liberal Tel Aviv were recently prohibited from showing maps that demarcate the West Bank, indicating it as distinct from Israel. Tia Goldenberg, ajc, 24 Oct. 2022 To demarcate these zones, Pennington suggests using living fences that double as edible landscape. Nevin Martell, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2022 When you're squeezed for space, use furniture to demarcate the entrance while keeping it visually light. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

back-formation from demarcation, from Spanish demarcación, from demarcar to delimit, from de- + marcar to mark, probably from Italian marcare, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German marha boundary — more at mark

First Known Use

1816, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of demarcate was in 1816

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Dictionary Entries Near demarcate

Cite this Entry

“Demarcate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/demarcate. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

demarcate

verb
de·​mar·​cate di-ˈmär-ˌkāt How to pronounce demarcate (audio) ˈdē-ˌmär- How to pronounce demarcate (audio)
demarcated; demarcating
1
: to mark the limits or boundaries of
2
: to set apart : distinguish sense 4
demarcation noun

Medical Definition

demarcate

transitive verb
de·​mar·​cate di-ˈmär-ˌkāt How to pronounce demarcate (audio) ˈdē-ˌ How to pronounce demarcate (audio)
demarcated; demarcating
1
: to mark or determine the limits of
2
: to set apart clearly or distinctly as if by definite limits or boundaries
demarcation noun
also demarkation

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