berth

[burth]
noun
1.
a shelflike sleeping space, as on a ship, airplane, or railroad car.
2.
Nautical.
a.
the space allotted to a vessel at anchor or at a wharf.
b.
the distance maintained between a vessel and the shore, another vessel, or any object.
c.
the position or rank of a ship's officer.
d.
the cabin of a ship's officer.
3.
a job; position.
4.
a place, listing, or role: She clinched a berth on our tennis team.
verb (used with object)
5.
Nautical.
a.
to allot to (a vessel) a certain space at which to anchor or tie up.
b.
to bring to or install in a berth, anchorage, or moorage: The captain had to berth the ship without the aid of tugboats.
6.
to provide with a sleeping space, as on a train.
verb (used without object)
7.
Nautical. to come to a dock, anchorage, or moorage.
Idioms
8.
give a wide berth to, to shun; remain discreetly away from: Since his riding accident, he has given a wide berth to skittish horses.

Origin:
1615–25; probably bear1 + -th1

unberth, verb (used with object)

berth, birth.


4. spot, slot, position, post, niche, appointment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
berth (bɜːθ)
 
n
1.  a bed or bunk in a vessel or train, usually narrow and fixed to a wall
2.  nautical a place assigned to a ship at a mooring
3.  nautical sufficient distance from the shore or from other ships or objects for a ship to manoeuvre
4.  give a wide berth to to keep clear of; avoid
5.  nautical accommodation on a ship
6.  informal a job, esp as a member of a ship's crew
 
vb
7.  (tr) nautical to assign a berth to (a vessel)
8.  nautical to dock (a vessel)
9.  (tr) to provide with a sleeping place, as on a vessel or train
10.  (intr) nautical to pick up a mooring in an anchorage
 
[C17: probably from bear1 + -th1]

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

berth
1620s, "convenient sea room" (both for ships and sailors), of uncertain origin, probably from bear (v.) + noun suffix -th as in strength, health, etc. Original sense is preserved in phrase to give (something or someone) wide berth. Meaning "place on
a ship to stow chests, room for sailors" is from 1706; extended to non-nautical situations 1778.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for berths
Berths are either general or specific to the types of vessel that use them.
Pilot berths are sometimes used as storage on short trips with large crews.
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