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Alternative forms[edit]


Origin obscure, but apparently from Middle English *berth (bearing, carriage) (compare Middle English beard, bærde (bearing, conduct)), equivalent to bear +‎ -th. Compare also Dutch gebaarde, German Gebärde.


(UK) IPA(key): /bɜːθ/
(US) enPR: bûrth, IPA(key): /bɜ˞θ/


berth (plural berths)

  1. A fixed bunk for sleeping in (caravans, trains, etc).
  2. Room for maneuvering or safety. (Often used in the phrase a wide berth.)
  3. A space for a ship to moor or a vehicle to park.
  4. (nautical) A room in which a number of the officers or ship's company mess and reside.
  5. A job or position, especially on a ship.
  6. (sports) Position or seed in a tournament bracket.
  7. (sports) position on the field of play
    • 2012 December 29, Paul Doyle, “Arsenal's Theo Walcott hits hat-trick in thrilling victory over Newcastle”, in The Guardian[1]:
      Olivier Giroud then entered the fray and Walcott reverted to his more familiar berth on the right wing, quickly creating his side's fifth goal by crossing for Giroud to send a plunging header into the net from close range.



berth (third-person singular simple present berths, present participle berthing, simple past and past participle berthed)

  1. (transitive) to bring (a ship or vehicle) into its berth
  2. (transitive) to assign a berth (bunk or position) to