Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: NEWSPAPERS, PUBLISHING

Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: margo 'border'

margin

noun
     
mar‧gin S3 W3 [countable]
1TCN the empty space at the side of a page:
Someone had scribbled a note in the margin.
Use double spacing and wide margins to leave room for comments.
2 the difference in the number of votes, points etc that exists between the winners and the losers of a competition or election
by a wide/narrow/significant etc margin
They're a world-class team and it was no surprise that they won by such a wide margin.
by a margin of 10 points/100 votes etc
The bill was approved by a margin of 55 votes.
3 the difference between what it costs a business to buy or produce something and what they sell it for:
Margins are low and many companies are struggling.
Within 10 years they had a gross profit margin of 50%.
4 [usually singular] an additional amount of something such as time, money, or space that you include in order to make sure that you are successful in achieving something:
It'll take about 30 minutes to dry but I'd allow a safety margin of, say, another 10 minutes.
5

margin of error

the degree to which a calculation might or can be wrong:
The survey has a margin of error of 2.1%.
6

margin for error

how many mistakes you can make and still be able to achieve something:
At this late stage in the competition there is no margin for error.
7 technical or literary the edge of something, especially an area of land or water:
the western margin of southern Africa
8

on the margin(s)

a person on the margins of a situation or group has very little power, importance or influence [= on the fringes]:
unemployed youths living on the margins of society
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