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From Latin margin-, oblique stem of margo ‎(edge, brink, border, margin).



margin ‎(plural margins)

  1. (typography) The edge of the paper that remains blank.
  2. The edge or border of any flat surface.
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      Nothing could be more business-like than the construction of the stout dams, and nothing more gently rural than the limpid lakes, with the grand old forest trees marshalled round their margins like a veteran army that had marched down to drink, only to be stricken motionless at the water’s edge.
    • 1992, Rudolf M. Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, page 7
      The lobule margins, furthermore, are arched away from the lobe, with the consequence that (when fully inflated) the abaxial leaf surface forms the interior lining of the lobule.
  3. (figuratively) The edge defining inclusion in or exclusion from of a set or group.
    • 1999, Pierre François, Inlets of the Soul: Contemporary Fiction in English and the Myth of the Fall, page 186,
      As far as space is concerned, Mary Lamb finds herself at the farthest margin of society - among tramps - when the novel begins.
  4. A difference between results, characteristics, scores.
    • 2012 April 15, Phil McNulty, “Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea”, BBC:
      Chelsea will point to that victory margin as confirmation of their superiority - but Spurs will complain their hopes of turning the game around were damaged fatally by Atkinson's decision.
  5. A permissible difference; allowing some freedom to move within limits.
    margin of error
  6. (finance) The yield or profit; the selling price minus the cost of production.
  7. (finance) Collateral security deposited with a broker to secure him from loss on contracts entered into by him on behalf of his principial, as in the speculative buying and selling of stocks, wheat, etc.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of N. Biddle to this entry?)

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margin ‎(third-person singular simple present margins, present participle margining, simple past and past participle margined)

  1. To add a margin to.

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