Marginal definitions

mär'jə-nəl
The definition of marginal is something situated on the margin, something that is only kind-of important, or something that is only a small change.

A tiny increase in taxes of less than one percent is an example of a marginal increase in taxes.

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Of, relating to, located at, or constituting a margin, a border, or an edge.

The marginal strip of beach; a marginal issue that had no bearing on the election results.

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Being adjacent geographically.

States marginal to Canada.

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Written or printed in the margin of a book.

Marginal notes.

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Barely within a lower standard or limit of quality.

Marginal writing ability; eked out a marginal existence.

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Relating to or located at the fringe of consciousness.
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Having to do with enterprises that produce goods or are capable of producing goods at a rate that barely covers production costs.
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Relating to commodities thus manufactured and sold.
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One that is considered to be at a lower or outer limit, as of social acceptability.
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Written or printed in the margin of a page or sheet.
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Of or constituting a margin.
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At, on, or close to the margin or border.
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Close to a margin or limit, esp. a lower limit.

A marginal standard of living.

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Minimal; limited.
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Minor; insignificant; not central.
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On the border between being profitable and being unprofitable.

A marginal business.

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Designating land unlikely to produce crops profitably.
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Of or from goods produced and sold at margin.

Marginal costs, marginal profits.

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Relating to, located at, or constituting a margin, border, or edge.
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Barely within a lower standard or limit of quality.
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Relating to or located at the fringe of consciousness.
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(not comparable) Of, relating to, or located at or near a margin or edge; also figurative usages of location and margin (edge).

The marginal area at the edge of the salt-marsh has its own plants.

In recent years there has been an increase in violence against marginal groups.

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(comparable) Determined by a small margin; having a salient characteristic determined by a small margin.
  • Of a value, or having a characteristic that is of a value, that is close to being unacceptable or leading to exclusion from a group or category.
    His writing ability was marginal at best.
    Having reviewed the test, there are two students below the required standard and three more who are marginal.
  • (of land) Barely productive.
    He farmed his marginal land with difficulty.
  • (politics, chiefly UK, Australia, New Zealand, of a constituency) Subject to a change in sitting member with only a small change in voting behaviour, this usually being inferred from the small winning margin of the previous election.
    In Bristol West, Labour had a majority of only 1,000, so the seat is considered highly marginal this time around.
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(economics, not comparable) Pertaining to changes resulting from a unit increase in production or consumption of a good.
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Something that is marginal.
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A constituency won with a small margin.
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