Definition of borderline in English:

borderline

noun

  • 1A boundary separating two countries or areas.

    • ‘San Yuan Li, which used to mark the physical and mental borderline of the city has now become a little dot in the endless urban network.’
    • ‘Two thousand years ago, a Roman fortress had guarded the borderline of the empire.’
    • ‘But surely you understand that it is impossible to control the entire borderline at all times.’
    • ‘It is worth noting that motorcycles were used to patrol the borderline and were seen as an effective force multiplier.’
    • ‘In 1994, the borderline of the City of Warsaw was enlarged to the surrounded province.’
    • ‘A common complaint is replacement of borderline fences and wood retaining walls.’
    • ‘He claimed this week he had called the Border Patrol after he picked up a migrant couple hitchhiking along a state highway near the borderline’
    • ‘I'm near the borderline of Vancouver and Burnaby.’
    • ‘They guarded the borderline on Kamchatka, near Vyborg, anywhere, but not at home.’
    • ‘By drawing borderlines separating the yellow/red areas and surrounding blue areas, we obtained three major categories of genes.’
    • ‘He entertained in fact far-reaching plans to build an advanced high-tech fence along the future borderline in order to separate effectively the two populations from each other.’
    • ‘The main purpose of this deputation is to protect the borderline.’
    • ‘I remember my first journey to the Iguazu Falls, in the borderline between Brazil and Argentina.’
    1. 1.1 A division between two distinct or opposite things:
      ‘the borderline between ritual and custom’
      • ‘My work on the origin of the Universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border.’
      • ‘Thus, from the outset, we are on the borderline between art and cliché, the self-consciously poetic writing nudging us in the direction of art.’
      • ‘First, it may be the case that psi lurks in this borderline between reality and imagination.’
      • ‘Emma's voice was borderline between sweet, and annoyingly too sweet.’
      • ‘Bar owners complain of unfair business when they are located on the borderline between smoking and non-smoking.’
      • ‘Having said that, my gut instinct is that actually Shakespeare was somewhere very much on the borderline between Protestant and Catholic ways of thinking.’
      • ‘It was typical of his work, very much on the borderline between mathematics and physical science, and exhibiting technical skill in classical analysis that is rare nowadays.’
      • ‘On the borderline between childhood and adolescence, I was still trying to figure out who I was.’
      • ‘‘We tried to argue that we are on the borderline between Southeast Asia and the Pacific, but they were not terribly impressed with that argument,’ he said.’
      • ‘The precipitation was on that borderline between sleet and just frigid rain.’
      • ‘It was an enjoyable and memorable night on the borderline of Galway and Mayo.’
      • ‘Nationality nouns (Americans, a New Zealander, the Japanese) lie on the borderline between proper and common nouns.’
      • ‘That's right on the borderline between a Category 2 and Category 3 and this could very well become a Category 3 hurricane.’
      • ‘In general, that's sort of a fuzzy borderline between psychosurgery and neurological surgery.’
      • ‘Hawking was on the borderline between a first and a second.’
      • ‘Brilliantly passionate and incisive vocals over stunning arrangements on the borderline between jazz, classical and flamenco.’
      • ‘Dias de las Noches sits on the borderline between dance and theatre typical of the venue.’
      • ‘I like that: revel in your glorious failures, dance on the borderline between success and disaster, because that is where your next breakthrough will come from.’
      • ‘The decor and costumes, by Peter McKintosh, are imaginative and cleverly sit on the borderline between reality and fantasy.’
      • ‘It's actually one of those bits of ‘music’ that hovers on the borderline of being both scary and hilarious and then scary all over again.’
      dividing line, divide, division, demarcation line, line of demarcation, line, cut-off point
      threshold, margin, fringe, limit, border, boundary, periphery
      View synonyms

adjective

  • Only just acceptable in quality or as belonging to a category:

    ‘references may be requested in borderline cases’
    • ‘‘They probably would have been borderline 10 years ago,’ Deane said.’
    • ‘Most of this stuff is borderline cruel or harassing, not entertaining.’
    • ‘Of course, pitches don't come across the plate labeled ‘ball’ and ‘strike’—most of them are borderline.’
    • ‘A normal level is 8 centimeters or more; 5 to 8 centimeters is borderline.’
    • ‘Another explanation of the findings could be that borderline dementia subjects might have lower leisure activity as a result of early disease.’
    • ‘About 6,000 smokers with borderline to moderate airflow obstruction were recruited and were followed up for 5 years.’
    • ‘Seventeen of the 69 case encounters in the afternoon session were rated as borderline.’
    • ‘At least one top NBA scout has been telling college underclassmen who might be borderline first-round picks this June that it's better to wait for the 2005 draft.’
    • ‘I have been told that I am borderline dangerously overweight.’
    • ‘Because Hamilton rarely has taken a tough stance and management has sent mixed signals to him about handling some dicey situations, things have gotten borderline out of control.’
    • ‘Were the youth of America, desperate for an honest set of heroes, supposed to find these borderline illiterate street skate rats admirable?’
    • ‘During long stretches of borderline freezing temperatures when the frost line neither advances nor recedes, water is continually drawn up to the ice lens where it freezes.’
    • ‘Hitting coach Gerald Perry says opponents are pitching Buhner tougher than anyone in the lineup, and he has reacted to some borderline called strikes by chasing a few pitches he usually takes.’
    • ‘His accent is nearly impeccable, and I was listening closely for him to slip up (I'm borderline obsessed with Brits doing American accents).’
    • ‘Recently I developed borderline high blood sugar, and my doctor recommended that I cut down on carbohydrates.’
    • ‘‘I'm getting base hits because the pitcher isn't getting borderline strikes called,’ Johnson says.’
    • ‘While his performance has its share of moments that borderline on the shrill, by the end of the movie he has managed to generate more than a little sympathy.’
    • ‘And because of that, isn't there a chance that they aren't borderline incompetent, and are closer to borderline great?’
    • ‘I've seen some borderline calls over the years, but I also have seen some pretty flagrant late hits along the way as well.’
    • ‘Reese says he hopes the pre-service teacher conferences and summer institutes will serve as a reinforcement for students who want to be teachers, particularly those who may be borderline.’
    marginal, indefinite, uncertain, unsure, unsettled, undecided, up in the air, doubtful, open to doubt, problematic, indeterminate, unclassifiable, ambivalent, equivocal
    questionable, open to question, disputable, debatable, arguable, controversial, contentious, moot
    iffy
    dodgy
    View synonyms

Pronunciation

borderline

/ˈbɔːdəlʌɪn/