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berm

[burm] /bɜrm/
noun
1.
Also, berme. Fortification. a horizontal surface between the exterior slope of a rampart and the moat.
2.
Also called bench. any level strip of ground at the summit or sides, or along the base, of a slope.
3.
Also called backshore, beach berm. a nearly flat back portion of a beach, formed of material deposited by the action of the waves.
4.
Chiefly Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. the bank of a canal or the shoulder of a road.
5.
Chiefly Alaska. a mound of snow or dirt, as formed when clearing land.
6.
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)
7.
to cover or protect with a berm:
The side walls were bermed to a height of three feet.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < French berme < Dutch berm; akin to brim1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for berm
  • 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.
  • The center complex is built within a huge berm that was designed to resemble a giant pot buried in the ground.
  • Dust devils puff around on the berm, and maple sprigs land in the yard with their white bellies up.
  • Soon she finishes her work and begins dragging herself down the berm toward the breaking waves.
  • Note sediment on upstream side of berm and clear water on downstream side.
  • The berm was inadequate both in height and in the materials used to construct it.
  • At construction, the ponds were excavated from grade and a minimal height berm was constructed around the perimeter.
British Dictionary definitions for berm

berm

/bɜːm/
noun
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
Word Origin
C18: from French berme, from Dutch berm, probably from Old Norse barmrbrim
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for berm
n.

"narrow ledge," 1729, from French berme (17c.), from Old Dutch baerm "edge of a dike," probably related to brim (q.v.). In U.S., 19c., also the name for the bank of a canal opposite the tow path.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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berm in Science
berm
  (bûrm)   
  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 Article for berm

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

Learn more about berm with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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