Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to berth: wide berth
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
a soft berth
An easy post, position, or job. After retiring from the military, I landed a nice soft berth as a consultant for a security firm. I didn't run for mayor expecting to find a soft berth—I'm prepared to fight for the changes I believe will make this a better city!
an easy berth
An easy post, position, or job. After retiring from the military, I landed a nice easy berth as a consultant for a security firm. I didn't run for mayor expecting to find an easy berth—I'm prepared to fight for the changes I believe will make this a better city!
give (someone or something) a wide berth
To maintain a good distance from someone or something. Originally referred to ships. Once I learned that there was a lice outbreak, I gave all of my students a wide berth for the rest of the day. We've been giving John a wide berth ever since he dumped our good friend.
A good distance (between things, people, etc.). Originally referred to ships. Once I learned that there was a lice outbreak, I kept a wide berth from all of my students for the rest of the day. We've been keeping a wide berth from John ever since he dumped our good friend.
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.
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]
give someone/something a wide berth
If you give someone or something a wide berth, you deliberately avoid them. I don't mess with people like that, not me. I give them a wide berth. Having lived all my life in Africa I have a very healthy respect for snakes and give them a wide berth. Note: A berth is the amount of space which a sailing ship needs to manoeuvre safely.
give someone or something a wide berthstay away from someone or something.
Berth is a nautical term which originally referred to the distance that ships should keep away from each other or from the shore, rocks, etc., in order to avoid a collision. Therefore, the literal meaning of the expression is ‘steer a ship well clear of something while passing it’.
give somebody/something a wide ˈberthavoid meeting somebody; avoid going near or using something: He’s so boring I always try to give him a wide berth at parties. ♢ The roads are very dangerous there — I’d give them a wide berth and go by train.
n. an easy situation; employment at an easy job. I hope I can arrange a soft berth for my brother, who just applied for a job here.
a wide berth
Ample space or distance to avoid an unwanted consequence: gave their angry colleague a wide berth.
give a wide berth to, to
To avoid. This term, which in the eighteenth century literally meant to give a ship plenty of room to swing at anchor, was transferred to other objects of avoidance and soon became a cliché. “I recommend you to keep a wide berth of me, sir,” wrote Thackeray (The Newcomes, 1854).