marginal


marginal
marginal, marginalize
To the editors of the OED around the turn of the 20c, marginalize meant no more than ‘to write marginal notes [i.e. notes in the margin] upon’, and they marked it ‘rare’. Since then it has been so transformed that the 1991 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of New Words described it (or, more precisely, its derivative marginalization) as ‘one of the main social buzzwords of the eighties’. Increased awareness of the rights of underprivileged groups and minorities has given the word its new lease of life in the meaning ‘to treat (a person or group of people) as marginal and therefore unimportant’. The use of marginal reflected here is itself a 20c development, first in the sociological meaning ‘partly belonging to two differing societies or cultures but not fully integrated into either’ and then in the more general meaning ‘of minor importance, insignificant’. Examples:

• Society, taking its lead from the media and its politicians, begins to reject a whole class and marginalizes them in the job market —C. Phillips, 1987

• Until recently, children's books were regarded as marginal, less than serious as literature —J. Briggs, 1989

• It is not yet clear that the church's long years of marginalisation in our national life have been ended —Independent, 1990

• You work with what are often called ‘marginalized’ people, such as African-Americans and people of color —Bomb, 1992

• Great love, great courage, great triumphs of the human spirit all have their opposites on the dark side. The best we can hope to do is to promote the one and marginalize the other —Sunday Mirror, 2002.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • marginal — marginal, ale, aux [ marʒinal, o ] adj. et n. • XVe; du lat. margo, marginis « marge » I ♦ Adj. 1 ♦ Qui est mis dans la marge. Note marginale. ♢ Géogr. Récifs marginaux, en bordure d une côte. Fosse marginale (cf. Marge continentale). 2 ♦ (angl.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • marginal — MARGINÁL, Ă, marginali, e, adj. Care se află la margine; spec. (despre note, glose, comentarii) care este scris pe marginea unui text tipărit sau a unui manuscris. ♦ p.ext. (despre chestiuni, probleme) Secundar. – Din fr. marginal. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • Marginal — may refer to: For marginal constituency in politics, see “Marginal seat” For the manga, see Marginal (manga) For marginal model in hierarchical linear modeling, see “Marginal model” For marginal observables in physics, see “Renormalization group” …   Wikipedia

  • marginal — adjetivo 1. Que está en el margen: nota marginal, corrección marginal. 2. Que tiene escasa importancia o una importancia secundaria: detalle marginal, cuestión marginal. Es un asunto marginal, yo no le daría muchas vueltas. adjetivo,sustantivo… …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • marginal — [mär′jə nəl] adj. [ML marginalis] 1. written or printed in the margin of a page or sheet 2. of or constituting a margin 3. at, on, or close to the margin or border 4. a) close to a margin or limit, esp. a lower limit [a marginal standard of… …   English World dictionary

  • marginal — 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo al margen. 2. Que está al margen. 3. Dicho de un asunto, de una cuestión, de un aspecto, etc.: De importancia secundaria o escasa. 4. Dicho de una persona o de un grupo: Que vive o actúa, de modo voluntario o… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Marginal — Mar gin*al, a. [Cf. F. marginal.] 1. Of or pertaining to a margin. [1913 Webster] 2. Written or printed in the margin; as, a marginal note or gloss. [1913 Webster] 3. At the lower limit; barely sufficient; as, of marginal utility. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • marginal — Adj am Rand liegend per. Wortschatz fremd. Erkennbar fremd (16. Jh.) Neoklassische Bildung. Entlehnt aus neo kl. marginalis, zu l. margo Rand . Als Substantivierung Marginalie Randbemerkung (älter Marginale).    Ebenso nndl. marginaal, ne.… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • marginal — 1. (en asistencia gestionada) un caso en el cual los costes superan la cantidad permitida para un diagnóstico o tratamiento específico. La cantidad marginal se especifica normalmente de antemano en el contrato entre el proveedor y el pagador. 2.… …   Diccionario médico

  • marginal — marginal, ale (mar ji nal, na l ) adj. 1°   Qui est en marge. Des avis, des astérisques marginaux. •   Cet ordre de pasteurs doit durer pour l assemblage des saints et pour l édification du corps de Christ, c est à dire, selon la note marginale… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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