the space around the printed or written matter on a page.
an amount allowed or available beyond what is actually necessary: to allow a margin for error.
a limit in condition, capacity, etc., beyond or below which something ceases to exist, be desirable, or be possible: the margin of endurance; the margin of sanity.
a border or edge.
Philately. selvage ( def 3 ).
security, as a percentage in money, deposited with a broker by a client as a provision against loss on transactions.
the amount representing the customer's investment or equity in such an account.
the difference between the amount of a loan and the market value of the collateral pledged as security for it.
Commerce. the difference between the cost and the selling price.
an amount or degree of difference: The measure passed by a margin of just three votes.
Economics. the point at which the return from economic activity barely covers the cost of production, and below which production is unprofitable.
Entomology. the border of an insect's wing.
verb (used with object)
to provide with a margin or border.
to furnish with marginal notes, as a document.
to enter in the margin, as of a book.
Finance. to deposit a margin upon.
Stock Exchange. to purchase (securities) on margin: That stock was heavily margined during the last month.

1300–50; Middle English < Latin margin- (stem of margō) border; akin to march2

3. confine, bound. 4. rim, verge, brink. See edge.

4. center. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
margin or (archaic) margent (ˈmɑːdʒɪn, ˈmɑːdʒənt)
1.  an edge or rim, and the area immediately adjacent to it; border
2.  the blank space surrounding the text on a page
3.  a vertical line on a page, esp one on the left-hand side, delineating this space
4.  an additional amount or one beyond the minimum necessary: a margin of error
5.  chiefly (Austral) a payment made in addition to a basic wage, esp for special skill or responsibility
6.  a bound or limit
7.  the amount by which one thing differs from another: a large margin separated the parties
8.  commerce the profit on a transaction
9.  economics the minimum return below which an enterprise becomes unprofitable
10.  finance
 a.  collateral deposited by a client with a broker as security
 b.  the excess of the value of a loan's collateral over the value of the loan
11.  to provide with a margin; border
12.  finance to deposit a margin upon
[C14: from Latin margō border; related to march², mark1]
margent or (archaic) margent
[C14: from Latin margō border; related to march², mark1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "space between a block of text and the edge of a page," from L. margo (gen. marginis) "edge," from PIE *mereg- "edge, boundary" (see mark (1)). General sense of "boundary space" is from late 14c. Meaning "comfort allowance, cushion" is from 1851; margin of safety
first recorded 1888. Stock market sense of "sum deposited with a broker to cover risk of loss" is from 1848. Related: Margins.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

margin mar·gin (mär'jĭn)

  1. A border or edge, as of an organ.

  2. A limit in a condition or process, beyond or below which something is no longer possible or acceptable.

  3. An amount that is allowed but that is beyond what is needed.

  4. A measure, quantity, or degree of difference.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
The adults feed on leaves and leave semi-circular notches on the margins.
The trouble is, our friends keep having afterthoughts, and they write all over
  the margins.
If the maps are too small to write in, students may write in the margins or on
  another piece of paper.
Most deep-sea hydrates are likely to be found near the margins of continents,
  he added.
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