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[mahr-juh-nl] /ˈmɑr dʒə nl/

pertaining to a margin.
situated on the border or edge.
at the outer or lower limits; minimal for requirements; almost insufficient:
marginal subsistence; marginal ability.
written or printed in the margin of a page:
a marginal note.
Sociology. marked by contact with disparate cultures, and acquiring some but not all the traits or values common to any one of them.

of, in, on, or constituting a margin
close to a limit, esp a lower limit: marginal legal ability
not considered central or important; insignificant, minor, small
(economics) relating to goods or services produced and sold at the margin of profitability: marginal cost
(politics, mainly Brit & NZ) of or designating a constituency in which elections tend to be won by small margins: a marginal seat
designating agricultural land on the margin of cultivated zones
(economics) relating to a small change in something, such as total cost, revenue, or consumer satisfaction
(politics, mainly Brit & NZ) a marginal constituency

1570s, “written on the margin,” from Medieval Latin marginalis, from Latin margo (see margin). Sense of “of little effect or importance” first recorded 1887. Related: Marginally.

marginal mar·gin·al (mär’jə-nəl)

mar’gin·al’i·ty (-jə-nāl’ĭ-tē) n.

1. Extremely small. “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 extremely small 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.”
[Jargon File]


Read Also:

  • Marginal-cost

    noun, Economics. 1. the cost of one additional unit of any item produced or bought in quantity. The change in total cost of production when an output is varied by one unit.

  • Marginal costing

    noun 1. a method of cost accounting and decision making used for internal reporting in which only marginal costs are charged to cost units and fixed costs are treated as a lump sum Compare absorption costing

  • Marginal hacks

    humour Margaret Jacks Hall, a building into which the Stanford AI Lab was moved near the beginning of the 1980s (from the D.C. Power Lab). [Jargon File] (1998-05-21)

  • Marginal gyrus

    marginal gyrus n. The superior frontal gyrus.

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