demarcate was our Word of the Day on 03/24/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of demarcate in a sentence
The plot of land is demarcated by a low brick wall.
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 1493, a Spanish noun, demarcación, was used to name the new meridian dividing the 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.
Origin and Etymology of demarcate
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
DEMARCATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of demarcate for English Language Learners
: to show the limits or edges of (something)
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