berth

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berth / bər[unvoicedth]/ • n. 1. a ship's allotted place at a wharf or dock. 2. a fixed bed or bunk on a ship, train, or other means of transport. 3. inf. (often in a sports context) a situation or position in an organization or event: today's victory clinched a berth for the Orioles in the playoffs. • v. [tr.] 1. moor (a ship) in its allotted place: these modern ships can almost berth themselves. ∎  [intr.] (of a ship) dock: the Dutch freighter berthed at the Brooklyn docks. 2. (of a passenger ship) provide a sleeping place for (someone). PHRASES: give a wide berth stay away from someone or something: I'd sworn to give women a wide berth.

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berth (naut.) adequate sea-room XVII; appointment (esp. on board ship); sleeping-place on a ship XVIII. Early vars. birth, byrth; prob. f. BEAR2 + -TH1, with ref. to the nautical sense of the verb ‘sail in a certain direction’.

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