- a shelflike sleeping space, as on a ship, airplane, or railroad car.
- the space allotted to a vessel at anchor or at a wharf.
- the distance maintained between a vessel and the shore, another vessel, or any object.
- the position or rank of a ship's officer.
- the cabin of a ship's officer.
- a job; position.
- a place, listing, or role: She clinched a berth on our tennis team.
- to allot to (a vessel) a certain space at which to anchor or tie up.
- to bring to or install in a berth, anchorage, or moorage: The captain had to berth the ship without the aid of tugboats.
- to provide with a sleeping space, as on a train.
- Nautical. to come to a dock, anchorage, or moorage.
- give a wide berth to, to shun; remain discreetly away from: Since his riding accident, he has given a wide berth to skittish horses.
Origin of berth
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for berth
Only then would a racer likely get a chance at a World Cup berth, from the very back of the start list.Skiing Prodigy Mikaela Shiffrin Looks Ahead to Sochi
December 1, 2013
They arranged for a berth for Liebling on LCI(L)-88, one of the first large landing crafts scheduled to hit Omaha.The Story of the American Journalists Who Landed on D-Day
Timothy M. Gay
June 6, 2012
I'm sorry for you an' the crew,' says he, 'an' I wisht I hadn't took the berth.Quaint Courtships
The ships did not get clear without some trouble, and we thought it wisest to shift our berth.
The schooner ahead of us had to cut, and she shifted her berth outside of us.
We thought it best to give these dare-devils a berth, and so we left them.
All this was done, I getting a berth from which I could see the female.
- a bed or bunk in a vessel or train, usually narrow and fixed to a wall
- nautical a place assigned to a ship at a mooring
- nautical sufficient distance from the shore or from other ships or objects for a ship to manoeuvre
- give a wide berth to to keep clear of; avoid
- nautical accommodation on a ship
- informal a job, esp as a member of a ship's crew
- (tr) nautical to assign a berth to (a vessel)
- nautical to dock (a vessel)
- (tr) to provide with a sleeping place, as on a vessel or train
- (intr) nautical to pick up a mooring in an anchorage
Word Origin and History for berth
1620s, "convenient sea room" (both for ships and sailors), of uncertain origin, probably from bear (v.) + abstract noun suffix -th (2) as in strength, health, etc. Original sense is preserved in phrase to give (something or someone) wide berth. Meaning "place on a ship to stow chests, room for sailors" is from 1706; extended to non-nautical situations by 1778.
1660s, of ships, from berth (n.). Of persons (intransitive), from 1886. Related: Berthed; berthing.
Idioms and Phrases with berth
see give a wide berth to.