• The act of marking off a boundary or setting a limit, notably by belligerents signing a treaty or ceasefire.
  • A limit thus fixed, in full demarcation line.
  • Any strictly defined separation.


  • First recorded c.1752, from Spanish línea de demarcación and/or Portuguese linha de demarcação, the demarcation line laid down by the Pope on May 4, 1493, dividing the New World between Spain and Portugal on a line 100 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. Both derive from demarcar, from de- + marcar, from Italian marcare, from the Germanic root of march.

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