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See also: Frontier


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From Middle English frounter, from Old French fronter (whence Modern French frontière), from front.



frontier (plural frontiers)

  1. The part of a country which borders or faces another country or unsettled region.
    Synonyms: marches, border
    • 1960 December, Cecil J. Allen, “Operating a mountain main line: the Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon: Part One”, in Trains Illustrated, page 743:
      From time to time the coaches of the Lötschberg Railway itself, which in comfort and décor can rank with the finest in Europe today, travel far from the frontiers of Switzerland on through workings such as these.
    • 1979, Richard Elphic, Hermann Guilomee (editors), The shaping of South African Society, 1652 - 1820, page 297:
      Unlike a boundary, which evokes the image of a line on a map and demarcates spheres of political control, the frontier is an area where colonisation is taking authority is recognised as legitimate by all parties or is able to excersise undisputed control over the area.
  2. The most advanced or recent version of something; leading edge.
    the frontier of civilization
  3. (obsolete) An outwork of a fortification.

Derived terms[edit]



frontier (third-person singular simple present frontiers, present participle frontiering, simple past and past participle frontiered)

  1. (intransitive) To live as pioneers on frontier territory.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To place on the frontier.
    • 1596 (date written; published 1633), Edmund Spenser, A Vewe of the Present State of Irelande [], Dublin: [] Societie of Stationers, [], →OCLC; republished as A View of the State of Ireland [] (Ancient Irish Histories), Dublin: [] Society of Stationers, [] Hibernia Press, [] [b]y John Morrison, 1809, →OCLC:
      now that it is no more a Border, nor frontiered with Enemies, why should such Privileges be any more continued?


  1. ^ The Chambers Dictionary, 9th Ed., 2003
  2. ^ frontier”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  3. ^ Jespersen, Otto (1909) A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (Sammlung germanischer Elementar- und Handbücher; 9)‎[1], volumes I: Sounds and Spellings, London: George Allen & Unwin, published 1961, § 12.41, page 346.

Further reading[edit]