border (up)on (something)

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border (up)on (something)

1. Literally, to be positioned next to something. France borders upon Spain to the south. That shed definitely borders on our property.
2. To be very similar to something without being identical; to nearly be something. Be careful, some sections of this paper are bordering on plagiarism.
See also: border
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

border (up)on something

1. Lit. [for something] to touch upon a boundary. (Upon is more formal and less commonly used than on.) Our property borders on the lakeshore. The farm borders upon the railroad tracks.
2. Fig. [for some activity or idea] to be very similar to something else. (Not usually physical objects. Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) This notion of yours borders upon mutiny! That plan borders on insanity.
See also: border, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

border on

or border upon
1. To be next to something in location: New York State borders on Lake Ontario. My property borders upon a small lake.
2. To come close to being something, especially in association, meaning, or intent; verge on something: Your harsh criticism borders on being offensive. Some of their jokes were funny, but others bordered upon the ridiculous!
See also: border, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
Its situation must always savor of weakness, sometimes border upon anarchy.
So, the ancient legend which made these mountains the cradle of the Nile, came near to the truth, since they really border upon Lake Ukereoue, the conjectured reservoir of the waters of the great river.
(muchisimas) buildings at heights so great as almost to border upon the perpetual snow, and in parts where there exist no passes, and where the land produces absolutely nothing, and what is still more extraordinary, where there is no water.
With an air of nonchalance which, under the circumstances, seemed to me to border upon affectation, he lounged up and down the pavement, and gazed vacantly at the ground, the sky, the opposite houses and the line of railings.
The border assumed its modern shape in 1930, and became an international border upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
The Green Corridor, launched on February 1, 2019, allows transporting goods through the border upon a brief declaration, which helps to speed up customs procedures and implement a more flexible and transparent customs control.
Some of the threats circulating against the alleged attacker and his family are truly awful and border upon bullying themselves, even harassment.
Some are plausible football arguments which deserve respect, others almost border upon hysteria and in a way undermine the more sensible anti-Giggs reasoning.
My mum had surgery for cancer in July, but I simply couldn't go back to China to be with her and risk being denied at the border upon my return because I didn't have H-1B approval.
It is said that the migrants surged on the border upon hearing in Idomeni that checkpoint 59 was reopened.
To a degree, it is understandable that a work that aims at philosophising the future will be written in the terms reminiscent of prophetic science fiction and border upon the fantastical, but there comes a point at which the reliance on technologically themed metaphor and the endless commas to gesture in Deleuzian fashion towards myriad possibilities detract from the text and the possibility of clear goals being articulated.
Janet glanced at the rear-view mirror - and saw a weird old woman wearing some sort of cap which encircled her face with a petal border upon it.
The state's Mayom county has seen a reduction in the price of household goods with the re-opening of the border upon which it lies, between South Sudan and its northern neighbour.
The North Korean boats retreated to north of the border upon the warning shots, officials said, according to the report.