Definition of margin in English:


Line breaks: mar¦gin
Pronunciation: /ˈmɑːdʒɪn


  • 1The edge or border of something: the eastern margin of the Indian Ocean
    More example sentences
    • Many are forced to leave their families and lead a precarious existence living on the margins of society.
    • In plan-form the dune has an irregular outline but the eastern margin is more complex and irregular than the western edge.
    • Because Australia has a broad continental shelf it lobbied to have this zone extend to the outer edge of the margin.
  • 1.1The blank border on each side of the print on a page: the notations in the margin
    More example sentences
    • This is fairly easy to accomplish by defining a bounding rectangle for the text that is the same width as the space between the page margins.
    • The holes are far greater than the space in this book given over to noticeably wide margins and blank space.
    • Folding down the corners of pages, scribbling in margins and breaking the spines of paperbacks are signs of a barbarian.
  • 2An amount by which something is won: they won by a convincing 17-point margin
    More example sentences
    • Rather, he is ensuring that the principle of one-man-one-vote holds good, even if it comes down to the narrowest of margins.
    • Amazingly the conversion was missed to leave Newbridge still ahead by the narrowest of margins at six points to five.
    • The senior hurlers have had a number of competitive performances, losing by very narrow margins.
    gap, majority, amount, difference, measure/degree of difference
  • 2.1An amount of something included so as to be sure of success or safety: there was no margin for error
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    • In fact, one of the roots of my concern is that nobody will know for sure when the safety margin has been eroded too far.
    • Protein recommendations for athletes are commonly expressed in a range to include a safety margin.
    • Be sure your available runway length provides an adequate margin for safety.
  • 2.2The furthest limit of possibility, success, etc.: the lighting is brighter than before but is still at the margins of acceptability
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    • Even without the threat of war, an operation of this size presses at the margins of possibility.
    • Yet the fact that he's about to shoot a new feature in colour with Bill Murray and other prominent stars also suggests he's willing to push the limits of those margins.
    • It can explore the margins and limits of the text and of classical theatre, and in the process demystify, even kill the text and the author and his authority.
  • 2.3A profit margin: launching these new products helped increase margins and market share
    More example sentences
    • At the same time, the IRA said, the firms are passing on their increased costs to consumers and increasing their own margins and profits.
    • What's more, many banks sneakily use base-rate changes to increase their margins and profits.
    • There could be some pleasant news with respect to operating profits as revenues continue to grow and margins increase.
  • 2.4 Finance A sum deposited with a broker to cover the risk of loss on a transaction or account.
    More example sentences
    • Buying options outright typically does not require any deposit of margin because the maximum risk is what you pay for the option.
    • It can fairly be said that those calls reveal that before the first margin call was made the plaintiff did not understand the risks of a margin account.
    • Finally, in unusual circumstances such as extreme market volatility, SIMEX may require a broker to deposit additional margin.
  • 2.5Australian /NZ An increment to a basic wage, paid for extra skill or responsibility.
    More example sentences
    • Skill margins were a key issue, and the dispute was the first successful post war campaign.
    • Stronger unions responded by demanding higher margins for skill and above-award payments, which strained the court's authority.

verb (margins, margining, margined)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Provide with an edge or border: the plant’s leaves are margined with yellow
    More example sentences
    • The long lasting floral bunches with sparkling waxy bracts in different shades of pink, and the yellow margined red corolla are best suited for cut flowers.
    • Ilex aquifolium ‘Ferox Argentea’: called the hedgehog holly, this is a non-berrying male holly with exceptionally spiky dark green leaves, margined with cream.
    • We watched a yellow margined triggerfish as it scoured the seabed below.
  • 2Deposit an amount of money with a broker as security for (an account or transaction): (as adjective margined) a margined transaction
    More example sentences
    • For instance, if you had $100,000 in your account margined 20 times, your actual investment would be $2m.
    • As I mentioned above, the margining system used by the futures options exchanges provides a special advantage of allowing Treasury bills to be margined.
    • This created a highly margined, over-concentrated portfolio that was not suitable considering Mr. Worker's financial situation or goals.
  • 3 archaic Annotate or summarize (a text) in the margins: these he deals forth as the notable Matters, margined for better Notice


margin of error

A small amount that is allowed for in case of miscalculation or change of circumstances: it is well within the margin of error for this sort of calculation
More example sentences
  • That's a large target area, and it allows for a margin of error when a shot must be taken from odd angles.
  • A margin of error is allowed in the exercise of discretion.
  • That, basically, is a statistical tie for first, because that's within the margin of error.



[in combination]: a wide-margined volume


late Middle English: from Latin margo, margin- 'edge'.

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a small amount; a little