verge (up)on (something)

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verge (up)on (something)

1. Literally, to be positioned next to something. France verges upon Spain to the south. That shed definitely verges on our property.
2. To approach or be very similar to some state, condition, action, etc. Be careful, some sections of this paper are verging on plagiarism. Her snide comments verged upon insult.
See also: verge
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

verge (up)on something

to be almost identical to something; to be similar to or almost the same as something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Your actions verge upon mutiny. What you said verges on an insult.
See also: on, verge
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

verge on

1. Approach, come close to, as in Her ability verges on genius. [Early 1800s]
2. Be on the edge or border of, as in Our property verges on conservation land. [Late 1700s]
See also: on, verge
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

verge on

v.
1. To be on the edge or border of something: The park verges on the neighboring town.
2. To approach the nature or condition of something; come close to something: Their confidence verges on arrogance.
See also: on, verge
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 ?
A painting in the dining-hall verged upon the indelicate-- but then the Margravine was herself a trifle indelicate.
The year had done much for the boy--turning his already mighty muscles to thews of steel, developing his woodcraft to a point where it verged upon the uncanny, perfecting his arboreal instincts, and training him in the use of both natural and artificial weapons.
They behaved with a confidence that verged upon indiscretion.
Since so few engravings were included in this show, their presence verged upon the symbolic rather than the representative.
Besson said that their friendship verged upon the conspiratorial.
"What you were doing verged upon conduct which was intimidation," he said.