What does marginal mean?

Definitions for marginal
ˈmɑr dʒə nlmar·gin·al

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word marginal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fringy, marginaladjective

    at or constituting a border or edge

    "the marginal strip of beach"

  2. borderline, marginaladjective

    of questionable or minimal quality

    "borderline grades"; "marginal writing ability"

  3. bare(a), marginaladjective

    just barely adequate or within a lower limit

    "a bare majority"; "a marginal victory"

  4. marginaladjective

    producing at a rate that barely covers production costs

    "marginal industries"


  1. Marginaladjective

    At the lower limit; barely sufficient; as, of marginal utility.


  1. marginalnoun

    Something that is marginal.

  2. marginalnoun

    A constituency won with a small margin.

  3. marginaladjective

    Of, relating to, or located at or near a margin or edge; also figurative usages of location and margin (edge).

  4. marginaladjective

    Determined by a small margin; having a salient characteristic determined by a small margin.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Marginalnoun

    Placed, or written on the margin.

    Etymology: marginal, French, from margin.

    We cannot better interpret the meaning of these words than pope Leo himself expoundeth them, whose speech concerning our Lord’s ascension may serve instead of a marginal gloss. Richard Hooker, b. v.

    What remarks you find worthy of your riper observation note with a marginal star, as being worthy of your second year’s review. Isaac Watts, Logick.


  1. marginal

    Marginal refers to the additional or incremental change brought about by a specific decision or action. It is often used in economics and finance to describe the change in revenue, cost, or profit that is associated with a particular decision. In a broader sense, it can also refer to something that is minimal, minor, or not central.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Marginaladjective

    of or pertaining to a margin

  2. Marginaladjective

    written or printed in the margin; as, a marginal note or gloss

  3. Etymology: [Cf. F. marginal.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. marginal

    [common] 1. [techspeak] An extremely small change. “A marginal increase in core can decrease GC time drastically.” In everyday terms, this means that it is a lot easier to clean off your desk if you have a spare place to put some of the junk while you sort through it. 2. Of little merit. “This proposed new feature seems rather marginal to me.” 3. Of extremely small probability of winning. “The power supply was rather marginal anyway; no wonder it fried.”


  1. Marginal

    of, belonging to, or near the margin.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'marginal' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4200

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'marginal' in Adjectives Frequency: #566

How to pronounce marginal?

How to say marginal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of marginal in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of marginal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of marginal in a Sentence

  1. Deputy Chief Executive Isabelle Kocher:

    Nearly half of the capacity that we are developing is in renewables, which are not marginal but totally central for GDF Suez.

  2. Severin Brizay:

    The number of deals in excess of $1 billion are up; they represent about two thirds of total volumes in EMEA, or 250 transactions, almost half of these deals are cross-border transactions and they account for a large majority of fees paid to market. For banks, it is critical to advise on these deals, or they end up in a marginal position.

  3. Thierry Kesteloot:

    Maybe lower oil prices will allow us to get more aid to people, but its (impact) is quite marginal, i am not sure that 2015 will see a shift in terms of improving poverty and food security.

  4. James R. Cook:

    Unions are at a disadvantage in a company vote because the employees can see that the greatest advocates of unionization are often the malcontents and marginal workers.

  5. Abhute Bahety:

    As per one record, over 5000 retail investors and marginal traders had committed suicides in 2008 stock market crash. And then real estate market has slumped as many properties were attached of stock market losers. The same story seems to be unfolding in 2022 as capital market continue to fall

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for marginal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"marginal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/marginal>.

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    having a build with little fat or muscle but with long limbs
    • A. contagious
    • B. appellative
    • C. defiant
    • D. ectomorphic

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