wide berth

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wide berth (plural wide berths)

  1. (nautical) Adequate distance from sea vessels or other objects to ensure safety and maneuverability.
    Steer to port and give the rocks a wide berth.
  2. (idiomatic, by extension) A considerable or comfortable distance from a person or object, especially for safety or deliberate avoidance.
    Our cat always gives the vacuum cleaner a wide berth.
    He's so obnoxious that everyone gives him a wide berth.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used with some form of the verb "to give".