American English

Definition of frontier noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a line that separates two countries, etc.; the land near this line frontier (between A and B) the frontier between Guatemala and Mexico frontier (with something) a customs station on the frontier with Brazil a frontier town/zone Thesaurusborderboundary frontier barrierThese are all words for a line that marks the edge of something and separates it from other areas or things.border the line that separates two countries or areas; the land near this line:a national park on the border between Montana and Wyomingboundary a line that marks the edges of an area of land and separates it from other areas:The fence marked the boundary between my property and hers.border or boundary?The point where you cross from one country to another is usually called the border. The line on a map that shows the border of a country can be called the boundary, but “boundary” is not used when you cross from one country to another:After the war, the national boundaries were redrawn. Thousands of immigrants cross the boundary every day.Boundary can also be a physical line between two places, for example between property belonging to two different people, marked by a fence or wall:the boundary fence/wall between the propertiesfrontier the border between two countries or areas; a line that marks the beginning of an unexplored or dangerous area:the frontier between Guatemala and Mexico The Ingalls family crossed the frontier in a covered wagon.barrier something that exists between two places and prevents easy movement between them:The mountains form a natural barrier between the ocean and the desert.Patterns across/along/on/over a/the border/boundary/frontier/barrier at the boundary/frontier/barrier the border/boundary/frontier with a place the northern/southern/eastern/western border/boundary/frontier a national/common/disputed border/boundary/frontier
  2. 2the frontier [singular] the edge of land where people live and have built towns, beyond which the country is wild and unknown, especially in the western U.S. in the 19th century a remote frontier settlement
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] frontier (of something) the limit of something, especially the limit of what is known about a particular subject or activity to push back the frontiers of science (= to increase knowledge of science)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: frontier

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