Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, located at, or constituting a margin, a border, or an edge: the marginal strip of beach; a marginal issue that had no bearing on the election results.
  • adj. Being adjacent geographically: states marginal to Canada.
  • adj. Written or printed in the margin of a book: marginal notes.
  • adj. Barely within a lower standard or limit of quality: marginal writing ability; eked out a marginal existence.
  • adj. Economics Having to do with enterprises that produce goods or are capable of producing goods at a rate that barely covers production costs.
  • adj. Economics Relating to commodities thus manufactured and sold.
  • adj. Psychology Relating to or located at the fringe of consciousness.
  • n. One that is considered to be at a lower or outer limit, as of social acceptability: "is fascinated by marginals, by people who live on the edge of society” ( Dan Yakir).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, relating to, or located at or near a margin or edge; also figurative usages of location and margin (edge).
  • adj. Determined by a small margin; having a salient characteristic determined by a small margin.
  • n. Something that is marginal.
  • n. A constituency won with a small margin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a margin.
  • adj. Written or printed in the margin.
  • adj. At the lower limit; barely sufficient.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to a margin; situated on or near the margin; specifically, written or printed in the margin of a page: as, a marginal note or gloss.
  • n. One of the bones which form the border of the carapace in turtles, except in the Trionychoidea, in which they are lacking: same as marginal plate. See cut under carapace, 1.
  • n. In the ammonoid cephalopods, or ammonites, one of the small inflections which sometimes develop on the sides of the antisiphonal lobe of the sutures.
  • n. In conchology, one of the outermost teeth on the radula of gastropods; one of the uncini.
  • n. In asteroid echinoderms, one of the series of thick plates round the margin of the arms and disk.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of questionable or minimal quality
  • adj. at or constituting a border or edge
  • adj. just barely adequate or within a lower limit
  • adj. producing at a rate that barely covers production costs

Etymologies

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