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[dee-mahr-key-shuh n] /ˌdi mɑrˈkeɪ ʃən/
the determining and marking off of the boundaries of something.
separation by distinct boundaries:
line of demarcation.
Also, demarkation.
Origin of demarcation
1720-30; Latinization of Spanish demarcación (in linea de demarcación line of demarcation, dividing the world between Spain and Portugal) derivative of demarcar to mark out the bounds of, equivalent to de- de- + marcar < Italian marcare < Germanic; see mark1, -ation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for demarcation
  • The trauma of that day led us to expect an abrupt demarcation in our lives and in the life of the nation.
  • The fourth change is the blurring of the old demarcation lines between broadcasters and providers of sports.
  • The demarcation commission could have done a better job.
  • Frequently, a clear line of demarcation is established only through litigation.
  • However, there is a definitive cultural demarcation.
  • Now, the lines of demarcation are blurry, the raised-letter wordings less exact.
  • There was no demarcation between old and new, no sense of shifting gears.
  • The lack of demarcation between art and audience also keeps you on your toes.
  • She makes a demarcation between her public and private lives and counts few dance insiders among her close circle.
  • The demarcation of their territory, however, could not keep out the modern world.
British Dictionary definitions for demarcation


the act of establishing limits or boundaries
a limit or boundary
  1. a strict separation of the kinds of work performed by members of different trade unions
  2. (as modifier): demarcation dispute
separation or distinction (often in the phrase line of demarcation)
Word Origin
C18: Latinized version of Spanish demarcación, from demarcar to appoint the boundaries of, from marcar to mark, from Italian marcare, of Germanic origin; see mark1
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 demarcation

c.1752, from Spanish linea de demarcacion or Portuguese linha de demarcaçao, name of the line laid down by Pope Alexander VI, May 4, 1493, dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal on a line 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. Applied from 1801 to other lines dividing regions. From Spanish de- (see de-) + marcar "to mark the boundaries of," from a Germanic source (see mark (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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