marginalized

adjective
mar·​gin·​al·​ized | \ ˈmärj-nə-ˌlīzd How to pronounce marginalized (audio) , ˈmär-jə-nᵊl-ˌīzd\

Definition of marginalized

: relegated to a marginal position within a society or group Refugees are the world's quintessentially marginalized population: They are by definition located at the edge, beyond boundaries, on the outside.— Tamar Mayer … the domination and oppression of women and other marginalized groups within patriarchal culture.— Susan M. Squier

Marginalized Writing vs. Marginalized People

Marginalize provides a striking case of how thoroughly the figurative use of a word can take over the literal one. The original (and now obsolete) meaning of this word, “to write notes in the margin of,” is analogous to the still-familiar noun marginalia “marginal notes or embellishments." A margin is, of course, the blank space surrounding the text in a book. Just prior to 1970, marginalize took on the sense that is most commonly encountered today, “to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position” (that is, to the metaphorical margins of society). This use of the word can be found as far back as 1968; an article in The Los Angeles Times from June 20th of that year reports, “[T]he Negro was kept aside, marginalized, thus composing in its large majority the chronically poor.” In its newer sense, marginalize has assumed a much more prominent place in the vocabulary than it once had.

First Known Use of marginalized

1969, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

23 May 2019

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The first known use of marginalized was in 1969

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More from Merriam-Webster on marginalized

Britannica English: Translation of marginalized for Arabic Speakers

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