de·​mar·​ca·​tion ˌdē-ˌmär-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce demarcation (audio)
plural demarcations
: the marking of the limits or boundaries of something : the act, process, or result of demarcating something
the demarcation of property lines
: something that marks or constitutes a boundary
a demarcation line
: a marked or perceived distinction between one area, category, etc., and another
The ability to test a theory against physical evidence … has provided a useful demarcation between science and pseudoscience.Norriss S. Hetherington
Certainly no clear line of demarcation has as yet been drawn between species and sub-species—that is, the forms which in the opinion of some naturalists come very near to, but do not quite arrive at the rank of species.Charles Darwin
There has been much chatter in recent seasons about the great gender crossover, that deliberate erosion on the runways of a once-rigid demarcation between conventionally feminine and masculine clothes.Elizabeth Paton
… the continued presence in the modern imagination of a sharp demarcation between public and private space.AAG Abstracts

Examples of demarcation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Christian militias took up positions in one of the residential buildings overlooking the demarcation line, from which their snipers could fire on opposing fighters and civilians. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 5 Nov. 2023 The fighting has stayed within a roughly 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) radius of either side of the demarcation line, with at least 13 people killed since last Saturday. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, 16 Oct. 2023 In 1941, the demarcation line was just a few kilometers south, in the Charente. Mathias Énard, Harper's Magazine, 11 Oct. 2023 The departing British split the country in two, in what became known as Partition, with the demarcation slicing Punjab – once home to a large and powerful Sikh empire – in half. Rhea Mogul, CNN, 6 Oct. 2023 Known for its blue huts straddling concrete slabs that form the demarcation line, Panmunjom draws visitors from both sides who want to see the Cold War’s last frontier. Hyung-Jin Kim, Kim Tong-Hyung and Tara Copp, Anchorage Daily News, 18 July 2023 Meanwhile, a journey to the heliopause (the demarcation line for interstellar space where the sun’s magnetic forces cease to influence objects) could take between 4.2 and 5.3 years. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 28 Sep. 2023 There is no physical barrier inside the JSA, and a US official previously said that after bolting over the demarcation line delineating the border, King tried to enter a North Korean facility – but the door was locked. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 27 Sep. 2023 Financially, the demarcation line for people may be pre- and post-pandemic as much as presidential administrations. Anthony Salvanto, CBS News, 17 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'demarcation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of demarcation was in 1728

Dictionary Entries Near demarcation

Cite this Entry

“Demarcation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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