• (British) IPA: /ˈmɑːˌdʒɪn.əl/

marginal (not comparable)

  1. (uncomparable) 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.
    1. Written in the margin of a book.
      There were more marginal notes than text.
      • 1999, R. I. Page, Introduction to English Runes, Boydell Press, page 198:
        The early pages had marginal notes most of which were lost when rats nibbled away the manuscript edges.
    2. (geography) Sharing a border; geographically adjacent.
      Monmouthshire is a Welsh county marginal to England.
  2. (comparable) Determined by a small margin; having a salient characteristic determined by a small margin.
    1. 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.
      The pilots lacked experience flying in marginal weather conditions.
    2. (of land) Barely productive.
      He farmed his marginal land with difficulty.
    3. (politics, chiefly, UK, Australia, NZ, 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.
      • 2002, Andrew Geddes, Jonathan Tonge, Labour′s Second Landslide: The British General Election 2001, [|most+marginal+%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AEmoT8SEN66fmQXM38DhBA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22more|most%20marginal%20%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 79],
        In ‘battleground’ seats with the Conservatives, Liberal Democrat vote shares increased most in the most marginal seats.
      • 2007, Robert Waller, Byron Criddle, The Almanac of British Politics, [|most+marginal+%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TxWpT5j8AazFmQWr2czhBA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22more|most%20marginal%20%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 58],
        In Outer London, Harrow East is now a more marginal Labour hold than Harrow West.
      • 2010, Nick Economou, Zareh Ghazarian, Australian Politics For Dummies, [|most+marginal+%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AEmoT8SEN66fmQXM38DhBA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22more|most%20marginal%20%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false unnumbered page],
        The pendulum lists the seats from least marginal to most marginal for the government on one side, and least marginal to most marginal for the opposition on the other side.
  3. (economics, uncomparable) Pertaining to changes resulting from a unit increase in production or consumption of a good.
Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: pauvre
  • Spanish: baldío

marginal (plural marginals)

  1. Something that is marginal#Adjective|marginal.
  2. (politics) A constituency won with a small margin.

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.005
Offline English dictionary