give a wide berth


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Related to give a wide berth: take a back seat, pay a visit, run an errand, in one sitting

give someone or something a wide berth

Fig. to keep a reasonable distance from someone or something; to steer clear (of someone or something). (Originally referred to sailing ships.) The dog we are approaching is very mean. Better give it a wide berth. Give Mary a wide berth. She's in a very bad mood.
See also: berth, give, wide

give somebody/something a wide berth

to keep far away from someone or something He believes that his neighbors give him a wide berth because he is black.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form give a wide berth to something: Consumers continued to give wide berth to shopping malls last month
See also: berth, give, wide

give somebody/something a wide berth

to avoid someone or something I try to give the city centre a wide berth on a Saturday. If she's in a bad mood I tend to give her a wide berth.
See into the wide blue yonder, blow wide open
See also: berth, give, wide

give a wide berth

Avoid, as in After Jane told on them, they gave her a wide berth. This expression alludes to giving a vessel enough room to swing at anchor so as to avoid a collision. [Mid-1800s]
See also: berth, give, wide