Why was clemency trending last week?


[mahr-juh-nl] /ˈmɑr dʒə nl/
pertaining to a margin.
situated on the border or edge.
at the outer or lower limits; minimal for requirements; almost insufficient:
marginal subsistence; marginal ability.
written or printed in the margin of a page:
a marginal note.
Sociology. marked by contact with disparate cultures, and acquiring some but not all the traits or values common to any one of them.
  1. selling goods at a price that just equals the additional cost of producing the last unit supplied.
  2. of or relating to goods produced and marketed at margin:
    marginal profits.
Origin of marginal
1570-80; < Medieval Latin marginālis of, pertaining to an edge. See margin, -al1
Related forms
marginality, noun
marginally, adverb
intermarginal, adjective
supermarginal, adjective
supermarginally, adverb
transmarginal, adjective
transmarginally, adverb
unmarginal, adjective
unmarginally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for marginally
  • The few health and safety laws that are marginally pertinent to such chemicals are not nearly as precautionary.
  • The data in the article shows that the first two charts were actually chosen at a marginally significant rate.
  • Expansion of the ice would have only marginally increased this pressure.
  • The economic pyramid is shifting due to oil price shocks and those at the bottom, marginally surviving, are dying.
  • Inside the newsroom, the atmosphere was only marginally less tense.
  • Sometimes the newest, coolest gear is only marginally better than what it replaces.
  • He speaks in a shallow voice that seems only marginally under his control.
  • What did surprise him was the fact that antidepressants were only marginally better than placebos.
  • But these cells are marginally helpful to scientists, and do not show the same promise as those culled from embryos.
  • Western diplomats and intelligence operatives have only marginally better access.
British Dictionary definitions for marginally


of, in, on, or constituting a margin
close to a limit, esp a lower limit: marginal legal ability
not considered central or important; insignificant, minor, small
(economics) relating to goods or services produced and sold at the margin of profitability: marginal cost
(politics, mainly Brit & NZ) of or designating a constituency in which elections tend to be won by small margins: a marginal seat
designating agricultural land on the margin of cultivated zones
(economics) relating to a small change in something, such as total cost, revenue, or consumer satisfaction
(politics, mainly Brit & NZ) a marginal constituency
Derived Forms
marginality (ˌmɑːdʒɪˈnælɪtɪ) noun
marginally, adverb
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 marginally



1570s, "written on the margin," from Medieval Latin marginalis, from Latin margo (see margin). Sense of "of little effect or importance" first recorded 1887. Related: Marginally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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marginally in Medicine

marginal mar·gin·al (mär'jə-nəl)

  1. Of, relating to, located at, or constituting a margin, a border, or an edge.

  2. Marginally within a lower standard or limit of quality.

  3. Relating to or located at the fringe of consciousness.

mar'gin·al'i·ty (-jə-nāl'ĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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