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border +‎ line


borderline (comparative more borderline, superlative most borderline)

  1. Nearly; not clearly on one side or the other of a border or boundary, ambiguous.
    I would rather hire a talented layman than a university graduate with borderline qualifications.
    • 2023 September 6, Philip Haigh, “£30 billion plan to transform the rail network in Ireland”, in RAIL, number 991, page 25:
      It recalls the business case for Scotland's reopening of the Borders Railway to Tweedbank, that British Rail closed in 1969. The review says the business case for this was at best borderline, but goes on to say that the case greatly underestimated passenger demand and that the railway Scotland built has capped its capacity.
  2. Showing bad taste.
    Your borderline remarks about my aunt's dress destroyed my evening.
  3. Exhibiting borderline personality disorder.
    • 2003 December 8, Leslie Atkinson, Research Scientist at the Psychiatry Research Unit Susan Goldberg, Susan Goldberg, Attachment Issues in Psychopathology and Intervention, Routledge, →ISBN, page 192:
      She clearly has borderline and narcissistic features and she meets the criteria for a rapid cycling bipolar disorder, as well as for a generalized anxiety disorder. She has a severe binge eating disorder and has gained 65 pounds since []

Derived terms[edit]



borderline (not comparable)

  1. Nearly; not entirely but nevertheless to a great extent.
    He is borderline hypoglycemic and needs to monitor his sugar intake.
    I expected him to be super boring but he was actually borderline funny!



borderline (plural borderlines)

  1. (countable) A boundary or accepted division; a border.
    She lives on the borderline between reality and madness.
  2. (uncountable) Short for borderline personality disorder.
    • 2001 July 23, Howard S. Friedman, The Disorders: Specialty Articles from the Encyclopedia of Mental Health, Gulf Professional Publishing, →ISBN, page 109:
      The four overlapping concepts of borderline were as follows : (1) A residual model [] (2) An affective disorder model, which considered BPD as an affective spectrum illness displaying prominent []
    • 2014 December 16, Amber Zufelt, Chasing Butterflies: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Borderline Personality Disorder,, →ISBN, page 40:
      [...] you should consider it! People with Borderline are especially affected by the unconditional affection parenting a pet can provide.
    • 2011 November 8, Paula K. Lundberg-Love, Kevin L. Nadal, Michele A. Paludi, Women and Mental Disorders [4 volumes], ABC-CLIO, →ISBN, page 155:
      Subsequent conceptualizations of borderline were based on important contributions from psychoanalysts, [] As a result of its inclusion, appearing as “borderline personality disorder,” the construct gained legitimacy []
  3. (countable) An individual who has borderline personality disorder.
    • 1995, Eugene E. Levitt, Edward Earl Gotts, The Clinical Application of MMPI Special Scales, page 80:
      As an example of their affective profile, borderlines are set apart from passive aggressives by having more marked social anxiety [] and greater sensitivity []



borderline (third-person singular simple present borderlines, present participle borderlining, simple past and past participle borderlined)

  1. (transitive) To border, or border on; to be physically close or conceptually akin to.




borderline m or f by sense (plural borderlines)

  1. (colloquial) someone with borderline personality disorder