Meaning of MARGIN in English

I. ˈmärjə̇n, ˈmȧj- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin margin-, margo border — more at mark



(1) : a vertical blank column to the left or right of an area occupied or to be occupied by the main body of a printed or written text or by a group of illustrations on a page or sheet

(2) : a straight horizontal blank area at the top or bottom of such a page or sheet

(3) : the entire blank area running about the borders of such a page or sheet and consisting of the left and right vertical blank columns and the straight horizontal blank areas at the top and bottom


(1) : the blank border outside the printed design of a stamp ; also : the portion of this border at the left or right side of the stamp or at the top or bottom

(2) : the border of a sheet of stamps beyond the outside line of perforations ; also : the portion of this border at the left or right side of the sheet or at the top or bottom


a. : the extreme edge of something and the area lying parallel to and immediately adjoining this edge especially when in some way distinguished from the remaining area lying farther in : the outside limit and adjoining surface of something : boundary area : verge: as

(1) : the boundary area extending along the edge of a body of water

stood at the margin of the lake

or of a wooded section

a village built at the margin of a forest

or of some other similar body or surface

the melting margins of a glacier

(2) : the boundary area extending along the edge of a leaf of a plant

(3) : the boundary area extending along the edge of an insect's wing

b. : the part of the momentary field of consciousness which is felt only vaguely and dimly


a. : the flat unmolded part of the stiles and rails of a paneled framing

b. : the cylindrical land of a drill the diameter of which determines the size of the hole


a. : something that is over and above what is strictly necessary and that is designed to provide for emergencies : a spare amount or measure or degree allowed or given for contingencies or special situations : a factor or group of factors making for ready opportunity or ample scope or personal choice in proceeding freely

an enormous margin of luxury in this country against which we can draw for our vital needs — Walter Lippmann

the busy lawyer … had no margin of time for meditation — Van Wyck Brooks


(1) : a bare minimum below which or an extreme limit beyond which something is no longer desirable or becomes impossible

a joke that was on the margin of good taste

living on the margin of respectability

(2) : the limit below which economic activity cannot be continued under normal conditions : the particular condition (as with regard to the increment of return for labor or for interest on an investment) that limits the existence or continuance of an economic process other things being unchanged

a margin of production

the margin of consumption


a. : the difference that exists between net sales and the cost of merchandise sold and that is taken as that from which expenses must be met or profit derived or from which other obligations must be met or other advantages derived — called also gross margin

b. : the excess market value of collateral over the face of a loan


(1) : cash or collateral which is deposited with a broker to secure him from loss on a contract made on behalf of his principal and which may also constitute a partial payment of the purchase price

(2) : a customer's equity if his account is terminated at prevailing market prices

(3) : a speculative transaction in which the broker does part of the financing

(4) : an allowance above or below a certain figure within which a purchase or sale is to be made

6. : measure or degree of difference ; especially : one by which a decision is made

the vote was 54 to 34, a margin of twenty

the wide margin between producers' and consumers' prices — Economist

Synonyms: see border , room

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb


a. : to make notes in the margin of (a page or sheet)

margining every other page with comments and criticism

b. : to indicate or specify (as sources) by means of marginal notes

historical documents from which material was drawn were carefully margined throughout the text


a. : to provide with an edging or border

a beautifully printed page that had been ornately margined

b. : to be situated along or lie extended along so as to form a border

trees margining the shore

a bright band of color margining the butterfly's wings

3. : to deposit a margin upon (as stock) ; specifically : to hold or keep secured by depositing or adding to a margin — often used with up

intransitive verb

: to deposit additional margin — usually used with up

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.