give someone or something a wide berth

give (someone or something) a wide berth

1. 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.
2. By extension, to avoid interacting or dealing with someone or something. The government has given the cyber security company a wide berth ever since its data breach became public knowledge. I would give those holistic medicine quacks a wide berth, if I were you. Anyone who claims to have miracle cures not supported by scientific evidence is trying to con you.
See also: berth, give, wide
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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’.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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