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English definition of “marginal”

marginal

adjective     /ˈmɑːdʒɪnəl/
very small in amount or effect: a marginal improvement/increase/decrease The report suggests that there has only been a marginal improvement in women's pay over the past few years. We have doubled our computing power at a marginal extra cost. The fuel-price increase will have only a marginal effect on the road fuel market.
not very important: Manufacturing is only a marginal sector in the UK these days. Their contribution to business strategy has been marginal.
ECONOMICS producing just enough income to cover the costs of making and selling something: Their sales volumes are marginal. For years, these marginal operators have only just managed to keep going and banks will not look at them favorably.
POLITICS a marginal seat (= area with one political representative) is one in which a politician has won by a small number of votes, so it is fairly likely to be won by another party when there is an election: These MPs have rural seats, many of them marginal.
(Definition of marginal adjective from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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