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marginal

[mahr-juh-nl] /ˈmɑr dʒə nl/
adjective
1.
pertaining to a margin.
2.
situated on the border or edge.
3.
at the outer or lower limits; minimal for requirements; almost insufficient:
marginal subsistence; marginal ability.
4.
written or printed in the margin of a page:
a marginal note.
5.
Sociology. marked by contact with disparate cultures, and acquiring some but not all the traits or values common to any one of them.
6.
Economics.
  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
1570-1580
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for marginally
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was chewing on an unlit cigarette, a disgusting habit that was only marginally less gross than smoking them.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • The less useful (marginally viewed) is traded for the more useful.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • Such quotations of places to be marginally set down as shall serve for the fit reference of one Scripture to another.

  • Such Quotations of Places to be marginally set down, as shall serve for the fit reference of one Scripture to another.

  • Much that Albanian sources have claimed as newly arable almost certainly is marginally so.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
British Dictionary definitions for marginally

marginal

/ˈmɑːdʒɪnəl/
adjective
1.
of, in, on, or constituting a margin
2.
close to a limit, esp a lower limit: marginal legal ability
3.
not considered central or important; insignificant, minor, small
4.
(economics) relating to goods or services produced and sold at the margin of profitability: marginal cost
5.
(politics, mainly Brit & NZ) of or designating a constituency in which elections tend to be won by small margins: a marginal seat
6.
designating agricultural land on the margin of cultivated zones
7.
(economics) relating to a small change in something, such as total cost, revenue, or consumer satisfaction
noun
8.
(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

marginal

adj.

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)
adj.

  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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