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borderline

[bawr-der-lahyn] /ˈbɔr dərˌlaɪn/
adjective
1.
on or near a border or boundary.
2.
uncertain; indeterminate; debatable:
not an alcoholic, but a borderline case.
3.
not quite meeting accepted, expected, or average standards.
4.
approaching bad taste or obscenity:
He made several borderline remarks that offended them.
noun
5.
a person suffering from borderline personality.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70; border + line1
Synonyms
3. marginal, problematic, uncertain, doubtful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for borderline
  • But that skill can go awry in a number of psychiatric disorders, including autism and borderline personality disorder.
  • The main article slot allows for a borderline-cinematic realization of the blog form.
  • It's borderline now on the performance, and the cost is slightly above that.
  • In many borderline cases involving financial fraud, the crime ultimately lies in the eye of a beholding jury or judge.
  • The puppet comes to life, of course, in appalling self-pitying rants that are borderline funny.
  • But their squalls of temper are meant to be comical, too-outbursts of borderline hysteria which collapse in a heap.
  • Mould by a charisma and wholly self centered they are actually borderline animals.
  • Using it on someone's office plant is borderline defensible.
  • It's at the borderline of science fiction and science.
  • It's remarkably dangerous, borderline impossible and hopelessly insane.
British Dictionary definitions for borderline

borderline

/ˈbɔːdəˌlaɪn/
noun
1.
a border; dividing line; line of demarcation
2.
an indeterminate position between two conditions or qualities: the borderline between friendship and love
adjective
3.
on the edge of one category and verging on another: a borderline failure in the exam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for borderline
n.

1869, "strip of land along a frontier," from border (n.) + line (n.). As an adjective meaning "verging on" it is attested from 1907, originally in medical jargon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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