from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An edge and the area immediately adjacent to it; a border. synonym: border.
  • noun The blank space bordering the written or printed area on a page.
  • noun A limit in a condition or process, beyond or below which something is no longer possible or acceptable.
  • noun An amount allowed beyond what is needed: synonym: room.
  • noun A measure, quantity, or degree of difference.
  • noun The minimum return that an enterprise may earn and still pay for itself.
  • noun The difference between the cost and the selling price of securities or commodities.
  • noun The difference between the market value of collateral and the face value of a loan.
  • noun An amount in money, or represented by securities, deposited by a customer with a broker as a provision against loss on transactions made on account.
  • noun Botany The border of a leaf.
  • transitive verb To provide with a margin.
  • transitive verb To be a margin to; border.
  • transitive verb To inscribe or enter in the margin of a page.
  • transitive verb To add margin to.
  • transitive verb To deposit margin for.
  • transitive verb To buy or hold (securities) by depositing or adding to a margin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To furnish with a margin; form or constitute a margin to; border.
  • To enter in the margin, as a note in a book.
  • noun A bordering or bounding space; a border; a space between one edge or line and another, as that along a river between the edge of the water or of its bed and a real or imaginary outer line, or the like, or that between the edges of a leaf or sheet of paper and those of the printing or writing on it.
  • noun Specifically— In an engraving, the paper left blank outside the plate-mark.
  • noun In entomology, properly, the outer part of a surface or distinct portion of the integument, as distinguished from the central part or disk. In this sense margin is not to be confounded with edge, which is used to denote the extreme boundary of a part: but where distinction is unnecessary, the two terms are often used synonymously.
  • noun In conchology, the edge or entire outline of a bivalve shell.
  • noun In botany: The edge. A distinct border, different from the body of the organ, as the membranous expansion surrounding some seeds or seed-vessels; a narrow wing.
  • noun In joinery, the flat part of the stiles and rails of framed work.
  • noun Latitude, scope, or range; freedom from narrow restriction or limitation; room or provision for enlarged or extended action.
  • noun Allowance made, security given, or scope afforded for contingencies, as profit or loss in trade, error of calculation, change of circumstances, diversity of judgment or opinion, etc.
  • noun In speculative dealings on the exchanges: The sum in money, or represented by securities, deposited by a speculator or trader with his broker as a provision against loss on transactions made on account.
  • noun This mutual deposit (usually of 5 per cent.) is made in some bank or trust company agreed upon, and remains subject only to a joint check or draft during the continuance of the contract upon which it has been called.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To furnish with a margin.
  • transitive verb To enter in the margin of a page.
  • noun A border; edge; brink; verge.
  • noun Specifically: The part of a page at the edge left uncovered in writing or printing.
  • noun (Com.) The difference between the cost and the selling price of an article.
  • noun Something allowed, or reserved, for that which can not be foreseen or known with certainty.
  • noun (Brokerage) Collateral security deposited with a broker to secure him from loss on contracts entered into by him on behalf of his principial, as in the speculative buying and selling of stocks, wheat, etc. It is usually less than the full value of the security purchased, in which case it may be qualified by the portion of the full value required to be deposited.
  • noun (Masonry) a smooth cut margin on the face of hammer-dressed ashlar, adjacent to the joints.
  • noun (Arch.) that part of a course, as of slates or shingles, which is not covered by the course immediately above it. See 2d Gauge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun typography The edge of the paper that remains blank.
  • noun The edge or border of any flat surface.
  • noun figuratively The edge defining inclusion in or exclusion from of a set or group.
  • noun A difference between results, characteristics, scores.
  • noun A permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits.
  • noun finance The yield or profit; the selling price minus the cost of production.
  • verb To add a margin to.

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

  • noun the amount of collateral a customer deposits with a broker when borrowing from the broker to buy securities
  • noun a permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits
  • noun (finance) the net sales minus the cost of goods and services sold
  • noun the blank space that surrounds the text on a page


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin margō, margin-; see merg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin marginis, genitive of margo ("edge, brink, border, margin").


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  • 'If the Page satisfie not, inquire in the Margine' - John Selden.

    March 24, 2015