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 share similarities with something without being identical to it. Be careful, some sections of this paper are bordering on plagiarism.
See also: border

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

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
References in classic literature ?
Edna could not control a feeling which bordered upon complacency at her friend's praise, even realizing, as she did, its true worth.
Akut accepted her on a footing which bordered upon equality when it was necessary for them to come into close contact; but for the most part he avoided her.
But it was impossible to express it by words, for their excessive joy naturally driving them to unbecoming extravagances, they had no way to describe them but by telling me they bordered upon lunacy, having no way to give vent to their passions suitable to the sense that was upon them; that in some it worked one way and in some another; and that some of them, through a surprise of joy, would burst into tears, others be stark mad, and others immediately faint.
At the Grandmother, in particular, he gazed with a curiosity which almost bordered upon rudeness.
The failure to sign another leftback was not just illogical, it bordered upon negligible.
Once Gayle added his and the visitors' second in the 54th minute, an eighth straight league win bordered upon the inevitable.
5 on the Moritz scale because his behavior was hypocritical, tacky, reckless and stupid--and bordered upon illegal, although not quite criminal.
This project has been one where the business has gone from a major loss-making situation that bordered upon closure to one where the business is achieving the accolades it deserves.
More is the pity that he leaves the club in the second division of the National League, thanks to umpiring inflexibility that bordered upon the ridiculous.
Newcastle bullied QPR - and the gulf in class between the two sides bordered upon the embarrassing at times.
His approach has bordered upon provocative and it has firmly entrenched Newcastle's position they will not be held to ransom by their top players - and particularly not by those who Rafa Benitez wants to keep.
Aged 33 next month, he has finally been laid low by the taxing demands of an international itinerary that has bordered upon the ridiculous.
It was unattractive, it was tense and, in some ways, it bordered upon painful, but this victory was far more significant than the 4-1 win over Reading.