berth

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wide berth

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.
See also: berth, wide

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.
See also: berth, give, wide

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 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

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 berth

stay 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 ˈberth

avoid 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.

soft berth

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.
See also: berth, soft

a wide berth

Ample space or distance to avoid an unwanted consequence: gave their angry colleague a wide berth.
See also: berth, wide
References in periodicals archive ?
Various other military vessels responded off the coast of Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, providing a range of support including berthing for relief workers, oil spill response, emergency medical assistance, and even kenneling for dogs and cats left stranded by the storm.
T Genuine Venus carrying containers and palm oil were arranged berthing at Qasim International Containers Terminal berth # 5, 6 & 8 and Liquid Cargo Terminal respectively at Port Qasim on Monday.
5mts to enable Panamax vessels berthing and outer harbor to 18.
Cochin Port Trust, as part of efforts for ensuring ease of doing business, has launched online berthing system for all of the berths in the facility.
With this development, the users of the Kochi port will no more be required to attend berthing meetings at the port premises as berths will be allocated on the basis of the on-line applications via electronic system.
Restructuring of the export corridor: is the construction of a system of piers for berthing four ships - larger than those that currently board the Port - forming a "T" perpendicular to the current pier, allowing the expansion of shipping capacity to 16 tons/hour and release of three berths for general cargo.
In the western part of the commercial pier there will be built a system of piers for bulk cargo with berthing capacity for four ships.