Definition of marginal man in US English:

marginal man

noun

  • 1Economics. A worker who generates profits only just sufficient to balance the costs of his employment.

  • 2Sociology. A man (in generic use, a person) who belongs partly to two differing social groups or cultures but is not fully integrated into either (sometimes with the implication of a capacity to mediate between the two); (in wider use) a person who is isolated from or perceived to be at the edge of a society or a social or cultural group.

Origin

Late 19th century; earliest use found in Quarterly Journal of Economics. From marginal + man.