margin noun

1 empty space at the side of a page in a book, etc.

ADJ. generous, wide Leave a generous margin on the left. | narrow | left-hand, right-hand

VERB + MARGIN leave, rule, set | adjust

PREP. at the ~ Start writing at the left-hand margin. | in the ~ She scribbled notes in the margin.

2 space, time, votes, etc. by which sth is won

ADJ. comfortable, considerable, greater, huge, large, wide | narrow, slim, small | clear, safe


PREP. by a ~ She won by a clear margin. | ~ over He had an 18-second margin over his nearest rival.

PHRASES by the largest/narrowest, etc. of margins He won by the narrowest of margins. | a margin of victory

3 amount of extra space, time, etc.

ADJ. good, greater, wide Sales predictions are open to wide margins of error. | narrow | adequate | safety

VERB + MARGIN allow (sb/sth), give (sb/sth), leave, provide The device gives a greater margin of safety.

PREP. ~ for We have substantial reserves, which provide a good margin for uncertainties.

PHRASES a margin for/of error The schedule left no margin for error. | a margin of safety

4 profit

ADJ. high, large | low, narrow, small, tight We're working to rather tight profit margins. | gross, net | profit | operating, pre-tax, retail

VERB + MARGIN achieve, have These manufacturers have high gross margins. | operate at/on, work to | improve, increase Higher productivity has enabled them to increase their profit margins. | cut, erode, reduce, squeeze Price rises have eroded profit margins.

MARGIN + VERB widen | narrow

PREP. at a ~ They are operating at very low margins. | ~ on They hope to improve their margins on computers. > Note at PERCENT (for more verbs)