AskDefine | Define border

Dictionary Definition



1 a line that indicates a boundary [syn: boundary line, borderline, delimitation, mete]
2 the boundary line or the area immediately inside the boundary [syn: margin, perimeter]
3 the boundary of a surface [syn: edge]
4 a decorative recessed or relieved surface on an edge [syn: molding, moulding]
5 a strip forming the outer edge of something; "the rug had a wide blue border"


1 extend on all sides of simultaneously; encircle; "The forest surrounds my property" [syn: surround, skirt]
2 form the boundary of; be contiguous to [syn: bound]
3 enclose in or as if in a frame; "frame a picture" [syn: frame, frame in]
4 provide with a border or edge; "edge the tablecloth with embroidery" [syn: edge]
5 lie adjacent to another or share a boundary; "Canada adjoins the U.S."; "England marches with Scotland" [syn: adjoin, edge, abut, march, butt, butt against, butt on]

User Contributed Dictionary





From bordure.


  1. The outer edge of something.
    a solid 1px border around a table
  2. A decorative strip around the edge of something.
  3. A strip of ground in which ornamental plants are grown.
  4. The line or frontier area separating political or geographical regions.
  5. Short form of border morris or border dancing; a vigorous style of traditional English dance originating from villages along the border between England and Wales, performed by a team of dancers usually with their faces disguised with black make up.


the outer edge of something
  • Dutch: rand
  • French: bord, bordure
  • German: Grenze
  • Hebrew:
  • Italian: confine
  • Norwegian: ytterkant, kant, rand
  • Portuguese: borda, margem
  • Russian: граница, край, кромка,
  • Serbian: granica
  • Spanish: borde
a decorative strip around the edge of something
  • French: bordure
  • Norwegian: bord
  • Portuguese: orla
  • Russian: кайма of clothes, бордюр of a road or oavement, фриз of a building
  • Serbian: graničnik
a strip of ground in which ornamental plants are grown
the line or frontier area separating regions
  • Arabic:
  • Aragonese: muga
  • Bosnian: granica
  • Chinese: 国境 (guó jìng)
  • Czech: hranice
  • Danish: grænse
  • Dutch: grens
  • French: frontière
  • German: Grenze , Gemerke
  • Hebrew: גבול (gvul)
  • Icelandic: landamæri
  • Indonesian: perbatasan
  • Italian: confine, frontiera
  • Japanese: 国境 (くにざかい, kunizakai; こっきょう, kokkyō)
  • Korean: 국경 (gukgyeong)
  • Norwegian: grense
  • Polish: granica
  • Portuguese: fronteira
  • Romanian: graniţă
  • Russian: граница
  • Serbian: granica
  • Spanish: frontera
  • Thai: (chaai daen)
  • Yiddish: גרענעץ


  1. To put a border on something.
  2. To lie on, or adjacent to a border.


(transitive) to put a border on something
  • Danish: begrænse
  • German: begrenzen
  • Russian: ограничивать , ограничить
(transitive) to lie on, or adjacent to a border
  • Danish: grænse
  • German: angrenzen
  • Russian: граничить

Derived terms



bord + -er



  1. to border


Extensive Definition

Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, states or subnational administrative divisions. They may foster the setting up of buffer zones. Some borders are fully or partially controlled, and may be crossed legally only at designated crossing points.
In the past many borders were not clearly defined lines, but were neutral zones called marchlands. This has been reflected in recent times with the neutral zones that were set up along part of Saudi Arabia's borders with Kuwait and Iraq (however, these zones no longer exist). In modern times the concept of a marchland has been replaced by that of the clearly defined and demarcated border.
For the purposes of border control, airports and seaports are also classed as borders. Most countries have some form of border control to restrict or limit the movement of people, animals, plants, and goods into or out of the country. Under international law, each country is generally permitted to define the conditions which have to be met by a person to legally cross its borders by its own laws, and to prevent persons from crossing its border when this happens in violation of those laws.
In order to cross borders, the presentation of passports and visas or other appropriate forms of identity document is required by some legal orders. To stay or work within a country's borders aliens (foreign persons) may need special immigration documents or permits that authorise them to do so.
Moving goods across a border often requires the payment of excise tax, often collected by customs officials. Animals (and occasionally humans) moving across borders may need to go into quarantine to prevent the spread of exotic or infectious diseases. Most countries prohibit carrying illegal drugs or endangered animals across their borders. Moving goods, animals or people illegally across a border, without declaring them, seeking permission, or deliberately evading official inspection constitutes smuggling.

Border economics

The presence of borders often fosters certain economic features or anomalies. Wherever two jurisdictions come into contact, special economic opportunities arise for border trade. Smuggling provides a classic case; contrariwise, a border region may flourish on the provision of excise or of importexport services — legal or quasi-legal, corrupt or corruption-free. Different regulations on either side of a border may encourage services to position themselves at or near that border: thus the provision of pornography, of prostitution, of alcohol and/or of narcotics may cluster around borders, city limits, county lines, ports and airports. In a more planned and official context, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) often tend to cluster near borders or ports.
Human economic traffic across borders (apart from kidnapping), may involve mass commuting between workplaces and residential settlements. The removal of internal barriers to commerce, as in France after the French Revolution or in Europe since the 1940s, de-emphasises border-based economic activity and fosters free trade.

Border politics

Political borders have a variety of meanings for those whom they affect. Many borders in the world have checkpoints where border control agents inspect those crossing the boundary.
In much of Europe, such controls were abolished by the Schengen Agreement and subsequent European Union legislation. Since the Treaty of Amsterdam, the competence to pass laws on crossing internal and external boders within the European Union and the associated Schengen States (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein) lies exclusively within the jurisdiction of the European Union, except where states have used a specific right to opt-out (United Kingdom and Ireland, which maintain a common travel area amongst themselves). For details, see Schengen Agreement.
The United States has notably increased measures taken in border control on the Canada–United States border and the United States–Mexico border during its War on Terrorism. Some have called the 3600-km (2000-mile) US-Mexico border, "the world's longest boundary between a First World and Third World country."
Historic borders such as the Great Wall of China, the Maginot Line, and Hadrian's Wall have played a great many roles and been marked in different ways. While the stone walls, the Great Wall of China and the Roman Hadrian's Wall in Britain had military functions, the entirety of the Roman borders were very porous, a policy which encouraged Roman economic activity with its neighbors. On the other hand, a border like the Maginot Line was entirely military and was meant to prevent any access in what was to be World War II to France by its neighbor, Germany.

Image gallery

The following pictures show in how many different ways international and regional borders can be closed off, monitored, at least marked as such, or simply unremarkable.
Berlin Wall used to be one of the most famous guarded borders in the world. Nicholas and Greenbrier counties in West Virginia, USA along a secondary road. Notice the older stone survey markers a few meters behind the modern highway sign.


See also

commons Border
border in Arabic: حدود
border in Aragonese: Muga
border in Bosnian: Granica (politička geografija)
border in German: Politische Grenze
border in Spanish: Frontera
border in French: Frontière
border in Croatian: Državna granica
border in Korean: 국경
border in Indonesian: Perbatasan
border in Icelandic: Landamæri
border in Italian: Frontiera
border in Hebrew: גבול
border in Dutch: Grens
border in Japanese: 国境
border in Norwegian: Grense
border in Polish: Granica (geografia)
border in Portuguese: Fronteira
border in Romanian: Graniţă
border in Russian: Государственная граница
border in Slovenian: Državna meja
border in Turkish: Sınır
border in Ukrainian: Державний кордон
border in Yiddish: גרעניץ
border in Chinese: 国境

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Berlin wall, Japanese garden, Pillars of Hercules, abut, abut on, act drop, adjoin, alpine garden, ambit, approach, approximate, arboretum, arena, asbestos, asbestos board, backdrop, bailiwick, bamboo curtain, bank, batten, be contiguous, be in contact, beam, beat, bed, befringe, beginning, bind, binding, board, bog garden, border ground, border on, borderland, borderline, borders, bordure, botanical garden, bound, boundary, bounds, brim, brink, broadside, brow, butt, cheek, chop, circle, circuit, circumference, circumscribe, cloth, coast, communicate, compare, confine, confines, conjoin, connect, contour, cortex, coulisse, counterweight, covering, crust, curtain, curtain board, cyclorama, dado, decor, define, delineate, demesne, department, domain, dominion, door, drop, drop curtain, dry garden, edge, edging, encircle, enclose, end, enframe, entrance, envelope, epidermis, exterior, external, extremity, facade, face, facet, featheredge, field, fire curtain, flange, flank, flat, flipper, flower bed, flower garden, frame, frieze, fringe, front, frontier, frontier post, garden, garden spot, grape ranch, grapery, hand, handedness, hanging, haunch, hem, hemisphere, herbarium, hip, hortus siccus, integument, iron curtain, jardin, join, jowl, judicial circuit, jurisdiction, kitchen garden, labellum, labium, labrum, lap, laterality, ledge, lie by, limb, limbus, limit, limits, line, lineaments, lines, lip, list, many-sidedness, march, marches, marchland, marge, margin, marginate, mark off, market garden, metes and bounds, multilaterality, near, neighbor, orb, orbit, ornamental garden, outer face, outer layer, outer side, outer skin, outline, outpost, outside, outskirts, pale, paradise, perimeter, periphery, pinetum, planking, precinct, profile, province, purfle, purl, quarter, rag, ragged edge, realm, rim, rind, rock garden, roof garden, round, scene, scenery, screen, selvage, set off, shell, shore, shrubbery, side, side scene, sideline, siding, skin, skirt, sphere, stage screw, stand by, sunken garden, superficies, superstratum, surface, surround, tab, tableau, tea garden, teaser, temple, termination, three-mile limit, threshold, top, tormentor, touch, transformation, transformation scene, trench, trim, trimming, truck garden, twelve-mile limit, unilaterality, vegetable garden, verge, verge upon, victory garden, vinery, vineyard, wainscot, wainscoting, walk, wing, wingcut, woodcut
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