mar ‧ gin W3 AC /ˈmɑːdʒən, ˈmɑːdʒɪn $ ˈmɑːr-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ margin , ↑ marginalization ; adjective : ↑ marginal , ↑ marginalized ; verb : ↑ marginalize ; adverb : ↑ marginally ]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: margo 'border' ]
1 . the empty space at the side of a page:
Someone had scribbled a note in the margin.
Use double spacing and wide margins to leave room for comments.
2 . the difference in the number of votes, points etc that exists between the winners and the losers of a competition or election
by a wide/narrow/significant etc margin
They’re a world-class team and it was no surprise that they won by such a wide margin.
by a margin of 10 points/100 votes etc
The bill was approved by a margin of 55 votes.
3 . the difference between what it costs a business to buy or produce something and what they sell it for:
Margins are low and many companies are struggling.
Within 10 years they had a gross profit margin of 50%.
4 . [usually singular] an additional amount of something such as time, money, or space that you include in order to make sure that you are successful in achieving something:
It’ll take about 30 minutes to dry but I’d allow a safety margin of, say, another 10 minutes.
5 . margin of error the degree to which a calculation might or can be wrong:
The survey has a margin of error of 2.1%.
6 . margin for error how many mistakes you can make and still be able to achieve something:
At this late stage in the competition there is no margin for error.
7 . technical or literary the edge of something, especially an area of land or water:
the western margin of southern Africa
8 . on the margin(s) a person on the margins of a situation or group has very little power, importance, or influence SYN on the fringes :
unemployed youths living on the margins of society
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
The margin should be wider.
▪ narrow (=not wide)
The margins are very narrow, making the page look cluttered.
▪ a generous margin (=wide)
Leave a generous margin at the side of the page.
▪ the right-hand margin (=on the right of the page)
There were some notes written in the right-hand margin.
▪ the left-hand margin (=on the left of the page)
All typing begins at the left-hand margin.
▪ leave a margin
The teacher told us to leave a margin wide enough for him to write corrections.
▪ set the margins (=make them a particular size)
Set the margins to have one inch on each side.
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ a large/big margin
By a large margin, the book sold more copies than any other this year.
▪ a huge margin (=a very big one)
They won the championship by a huge margin.
▪ a small margin
Visitors from other parts of Scotland exceeded foreign visitors by only a small margin.
▪ a narrow margin (=a very small one)
The proposal passed, but only by a narrow margin.
▪ win by a large/small etc margin
The party won by a huge margin.
▪ lose by a large/small etc margin
He lost by only a narrow margin.
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▪ edge the part of something that is furthest from its centre or nearest the place where it ends:
He got up quickly, knocking his plate off the edge of the table.
the outer edge of the village
▪ side the part of something that is near its left or right edge:
On the left side of the garden there was an old stone wall.
They parked by the side of the road.
▪ rim the edge of something circular, especially the top of a cup or glass, or the outside edge of a pair of glasses:
a white cup with a gold rim
She was looking at me over the rim of her spectacles.
▪ margin the empty space at the side of a page that has writing on it:
My teacher had marked my essay and made some comments in the margin.
Leave wide margins on both sides of the page.
▪ hem the edge of a piece of cloth that is turned under and stitched down, especially the lower edge of a skirt, trousers etc:
If you want the dress a bit shorter, I can easily turn up the hem.
▪ kerb British English , curb American English the edge of the pavement (=raised path) at the side of a road:
A big black car was parked at the kerb.
▪ outskirts the areas of a city that are furthest away from the centre:
The new station was built on the outskirts of the city.
▪ perimeter the outside edge around an enclosed area of land such as a military camp or a prison:
Security guards patrol the perimeter night and day.