1. A part that forms the outer edge of something.
2. A decorative strip around the edge of something, such as fabric.
3. A strip of ground, as at the edge of a garden or walk, in which ornamental plants or shrubs are planted.
4. The line or frontier area separating political divisions or geographic regions; a boundary.
v. bor·dered, bor·der·ing, bor·ders
1. To lie along or adjacent to the border of: Canada borders the United States.
2. To put a border on.
1. To lie adjacent to another: The United States borders on Canada.
2. To be almost like another in character: an act that borders on heroism.
[Middle English bordure, from Old French bordeure, from border, to border, from bort, border, of Germanic origin.]
Synonyms: border, edge, margin, verge1, brink, rim
These nouns refer to the line that marks the outside limit of something, such as a surface or shape, or to the area just inside such a line. Border can refer to either the line (a fence along the border of the property) or the adjacent area (a frame with a wide border). Edge refers to the bounding line formed by the continuous convergence of two surfaces (sat on the edge of the wall) or to an outer line or limit (a leaf with serrated edges; stopped at the edge of the water). Margin generally refers to a strip that runs along an edge or border: the margin of the page; the grassy margins of a path. A verge is an extreme terminating line or edge: the sun's afterglow on the verge of the horizon. Figuratively it indicates a point at which something is likely to begin or to happen: an explorer on the verge of a great discovery. Brink denotes the edge of a steep place: stood on the brink of the cliff. In an extended sense it indicates the likelihood or imminence of a sudden change: on the brink of falling in love. Rim most often denotes the edge of something circular or curved: a cup with a chipped rim; the rim of a basketball goal; lava issuing from the rim of the crater.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.