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

  • n. Land located on or near a frontier.
  • n. The fringe: a shadowy figure who lived on the borderland of the drug scene.
  • n. An indeterminate area, situation, or condition: the borderland between sanity and insanity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. land near a border; marches

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. land on the frontiers of two adjoining countries; debatable land; -- often used figuratively; as, the border land of science.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Land forming a border or frontier; an uncertain intermediate district or space: often used figuratively.

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

  • n. district consisting of the area on either side of a border or boundary of a country or an area


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • There is also a link to the university's Institute for Oral History (utminers. htm), which sounds fascinating for anyone interested in borderland history.

    Migration: documented on the web

  • Like many historians, the author prefers the word borderland to frontier because it connotes a place of instability, a place of conflict among several sources of power.

    Drums Along the Niagara

  • Even in the previous century the parapsychological faculties of the human brain had belonged to the questionable field of the so-called borderland sciences.

    Good Night, Mrs. Calabash

  • It is probable enough that there exists a considerable area of what may be called borderland phenomena to which scientific methods of inquiry may be found applicable, and which it is theoretically the business of science to investigate.

    Religious Reality

  • Now, it would have been far better to have passed on to the land beyond or swing back to earth again, for a borderland is the most unsafe land in which to dwell on account of its roaming herds of wild beasts, marauding, vicious men, and dangers too numerous to mention.

    Autobiography and work of Bishop M.F. Jamison, D.D. ("Uncle Joe") : editor, publisher, and Church Extension Secretary : a narration of his whole career from the cradle to the Bishopric of the Colored M. E. Church in America,

  • Most of this money came from a special fund earmarked for development of "borderland" areas of the country.

    The Foundation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research

  • Such a government Turkey does not have. just as in Mexico-another "borderland" country on the edge of the rich world with which it has a lot in common - Turkey's economic reforms in the 1980s were deceptive.

    The Sick Man Coughs Again

  • Quite independently of his Historical Matrix Model, which includes other conceptual components besides the ones I have highlighted here, Shermer is persuasive in showing how Wallace's personality and the peculiar mix of his "borderland" scientific interests (particularly mesmerism and phrenology) combined to make him vulnerable to a host of other unorthodox viewpoints, such as his ardent campaign against vaccination and his strong commitment to socialist causes.

    Darwin and His Doppelgänger

  • His eyes were shut, and he was in that hot borderland which is the nearest approach to sleep at noontide in Nigeria.

    Golden Stories A Selection of the Best Fiction by the Foremost Writers

  • Foerster suggests that we may be here at a sort of foreground or borderland which is defended by the knight at the ford (v. 735 f.), and which, though not within the limits of the kingdom, is nevertheless beneath the sway of Bademagu.

    Four Arthurian Romances


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