I think I've heard the word 領外{りょうがい} used several times to mean "out of bounds" (as in physically out of bounds, for instance outside of the playing field for sports).

But, when I try looking it up on jisho.org, neither the hirgana or the kanji turn up any search results [1], [2]. When searching for "out of bounds" jisho.org instead suggests 埒外{らちがい}, but one of the translations it gives is "beyond the pale", so I'm not sure that is correct since it doesn't seem to mean 'physically out of bounds'.

I do find some other dictionary entries like [3] when searching with google. Though, my Japanese reading skills are pretty bad, so I'm not sure if this page is saying anything about how common the word is. At least I think it doesn't.

I could have sworn I've heard 領外{りょうがい} used several times, and it came to mind immediately when trying to think of the translation for "out of bounds". But, the absence from jisho.org makes me unsure that this is the correct/common translation.

Is 領外{りょうがい} actually a common translation for "(physically) out of bounds"? I.e. if I use this word, will people know what I'm talking about?

  • FWIW, a while later someone used 枠外 to describe the same thing as well. Aug 10, 2021 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


I don't believe it is common as a written term, at least, for sporting contexts. A search on the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese yields just 7 results, while the more modern but less balanced NINJAL Web Japanese Corpus gives 277 results. For both, the examples seem to be from military and/or political contexts; I think that is sort of imparted by the core meaning of 領 as a domain or territory (I suppose something that is owned or controlled), rather than a simple space or area. That said, with enough context, I think if 領外 were written down, it would be understood.

Nevertheless, you can, I think, express the same idea of something being 'out' succinctly in simple language, with something like 「ライン外で」 or 「ボールがラインから外に出ること」or 「コート外に出てしまった」, depending on the type of sentence you want to construct and (obviously!) on the sport.

I've heard the loaned 「アウトオブバウンズ」used in conversation, but perhaps less common as a written thing, with only 21 entries on BCCWJ. Relatedly, I've seen for the first time today「OB」used to mean 'out of bounds', for instance:


to mean

The state of hitting a ball out of bounds in golf.

from EDR日英対訳辞書 (searched on Weblio).

I would probably personally favour the simple native Japanese choices above these foreign constructions just because I haven't heard them as much/ever, but ultimately what you use should be based on what your purpose is, what tone you wish to take, and what your audience will understand, which is unfortunately a judgement call with no simple answer.


According to [3], 領外 means outside of territory(領土{りょうど} /領地{りょうち} ). I do think this is also a translation for out of bounds. I'll explain this later.

Since I've never heard someone using 領外(IIRC) so I personally think 領外 is not commonly used word.

Now, as for the Japanese translation of out of bounds, I think this will change depending on the case, and that's why 領外 is still valid for the translation.

The literal Japanese word for "out of bounds" would be "立入禁止{たちいりきんし} (の)" but I don't think that's what you want to say.

Let's list a few examples. Out of bounds would be "フィールド外{がい} " if in soccer, "場外{じょうがい} " if in baseball, or "区域外{くいきがい} /圏外{けんがい} " if in general use. I do sometimes hear "エリア外{がい}" too.

Side note: The term "OB" is also used in Japanese golf. However, as you may know, this is an abbreviation for out of bounds. If I were to translate it into Japanese, I would say "プレイ区域外{くいきがい} ".

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