Also, berme. Fortification. a horizontal surface between the exterior slope of a rampart and the moat.
Also called bench. any level strip of ground at the summit or sides, or along the base, of a slope.
Also called backshore, beach berm. a nearly flat back portion of a beach, formed of material deposited by the action of the waves.
Chiefly Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. the bank of a canal or the shoulder of a road.
Chiefly Alaska. a mound of snow or dirt, as formed when clearing land.
a bank of earth placed against an exterior wall or walls of a house or other building as protection against extremes of temperature.
verb (used with object)
to cover or protect with a berm: The side walls were bermed to a height of three feet.

1720–30; < French berme < Dutch berm; akin to brim1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
berm or berme (bɜːm)
1.  a narrow path or ledge at the edge of a slope, road, or canal
2.  (NZ) the grass verge of a suburban street, usually kept mown
3.  fortifications a narrow path or ledge between a moat and a rampart
4.  military a man-made ridge of sand, designed as an obstacle to tanks, which, in crossing it, have to expose their vulnerable underparts
[C18: from French berme, from Dutch berm, probably from Old Norse barmrbrim]
berme or berme
[C18: from French berme, from Dutch berm, probably from Old Norse barmrbrim]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"narrow ledge," 1729, from Fr. berme (17c.), from O.Du. baerm "edge of a dike," related to brim (q.v.). In U.S., 19c., "the bank of a canal opposite the tow path."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
berm   (bûrm)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A nearly horizontal or landward-sloping portion of a beach formed by the deposition of sediment by storm waves. A beach may have no berm at all, or it may have more than one berm.

  2. A narrow man-made ledge or shelf, as along the top or bottom of a slope.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


terrace of a beach that has formed in the backshore, above the water level at high tide. Berms are commonly found on beaches that have fairly coarse sand and are the result of the deposition of material by low-energy waves. They have a marked change of slope at their seaward edge and a flat or reverse-sloped platform that lies slightly higher than the mean high-water level. On broad beaches there may be three or more subparallel berms, each formed under different wave conditions. On some beaches a berm several metres wide may be laid down each summer and destroyed each winter by high storm waves

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It also stopped every now and then to crouch down on a small berm near an ancient lake.
The water pressure against the decrepit berm was palpable.
The height of the island and a berm ringing the outer edge would be raised to guard against a rise in sea level.
Moonraker is a stark, weathered cathedral of chlorine, all but buried in an earthen berm.
Image for berm
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