Definition of berm in English:



  • 1A flat strip of land, raised bank, or terrace bordering a river or canal.

    • ‘By the time you step out on the lanai, which overlooks the pool and a secluded bay guarded by berms of lava rock, you've almost forgotten you're in Hawaii.’
    • ‘To catch rainwater, build berms on the downhill side of the plants using soil from the planting holes.’
    • ‘They constructed stone filter berms around all storm water drains and cleaned and relined two settling ponds with stone in an effort to improve the quality of stormwater being discharged to Lake Huron.’
    • ‘With the creek barrier now open and a solid berm built across the avulsion channel, the heavy rains return.’
    • ‘The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over.’
    • ‘They did this by excavating a portion of the ditch and constructing a series of berms to retain water.’
    • ‘Pools that hold water (except during drought conditions) occur in the Park at two locations just behind the Potomac River berm.’
    • ‘He says that berms are highly effective, yet unobtrusive.’
    • ‘The vegetated area may be either a long, grassed, gently sloping channel or a broad, flat area with a slight slope away from the inlet surrounded by a berm or dike.’
    • ‘Though progress is being made both on the berms separating New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain and the pumps that eventually will de-water - a government term - a drowned city.’
    • ‘Both islands are composed of granite bedrock with numerous boulder and rock slab berms; rock crevices within those features are the primary nest sites for puffins in the Gulf of Maine.’
    • ‘Steep profiles usually consist of a marked landward ridge, usually referred to as the berm, which forms the landward limit of wave swash.’
    • ‘It soon was apparent that what showed as paths on the map were actually berms running beside irrigation canals.’
    • ‘I sped along the road, which headed across the retreating reservoir, and, as I started to fishtail, realized that this road was actually a berm.’
    • ‘At Turkey Point in the sandy berms out in the salt marsh, large stands of the non-native Teesdalia nudicaulis were noted in bloom.’
    • ‘But their survival is threatened by loss of habitat - especially the sandy berms where they nest - and by humans.’
    • ‘The building hovers above a stabilised berm, turning with the river to reinforce landform and contour.’
    slope, rise, incline, gradient, ramp, acclivity, tump
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    1. 1.1 A path or grass strip beside a road.
      • ‘Driving a potential customer along the road he would suddenly swerve onto the berm, bumping along the road edge to prove what a smooth ride the car gave.’
      • ‘Long earth berms conceal cars and animate the pancake flatness of the suburban topography.’
      • ‘At the highway, Lucius picked up a rhythm of hoofs and fell to his knees behind a shallow berm, thinly screened from the road by a stand of brush.’
      • ‘Fountains and berms can keep cars and trucks away from the building.’
      • ‘Parking space is limited because both the road and berm are narrow.’
      • ‘Mom backed the car out of the driveway, kicking up dust on the berm of Old Logan Road as she drove us home.’
      • ‘In addition to these, a laceleaf Japanese maple, a vine maple, blue oat grass, and other ornamentals cover the berm.’
      • ‘The section of track in question is on a raised berm about 10 feet above ground level.’
      • ‘In some areas near the edge of the berm, new grass has sprouted up along with some small semisucculent plants.’
      • ‘Park cars on the berm before the cliff is reached because the road becomes narrow and treacherous.’
      • ‘Hedgerows were built-up berms of earth covered with trees and bushes that lined the fields of French farmers.’
      • ‘The ball disappeared behind a grass berm that protects the front of the green.’
      • ‘Realizing the vulnerability of the other three passengers in his vehicle, Duarte exited the vehicle before it crashed over a berm and into a wall.’
      • ‘A scrawny opossum foraged along the road, scampering down the berm and toward the woods when I tried to take its picture.’
      • ‘The center pole began to twist, and Odie and Tanya braced against it with all their weight to shove it across the grass berm so that it would fall under its own weight.’
      • ‘The driver ignores the police command and, like his cohorts, walks defiantly up the berm, disappearing from view.’
      footpath, pathway, footway, pavement, track, jogging track, trail, trackway, bridleway, bridle path, ride, riding, towpath, walk, walkway, promenade, esplanade, avenue, lane, alley, alleyway, passage, passageway, byway, sidetrack, causeway, right of way
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    2. 1.2 An artificial ridge or embankment, such as one built as a defence against tanks.
      ‘berms of shovelled earth’
      • ‘The pad is a little larger than a football field, protected by a 20-foot-high earth berm, a double chain-link fence, and a lone security guard carrying a machine gun.’
      • ‘Those involved in the ambush said a trap had been laid, and that the area was marked with defensive earth berms and firing positions.’
      • ‘With the initial breach of the enemy defense now gained for his unit, he sprang from the vehicle and began assaulting the berm and ambush line with two Marines.’
      • ‘The trip north passed bombed antiaircraft guns, empty foxholes and berms dug for tanks that had been abandoned by armed forces.’
      • ‘Marines on the south side of the city began packing up gear Thursday in preparation to withdraw and breaking down earthen berms and other security barriers.’
      • ‘Also, look for berms and structures 20 to 30 meters away from your location that can provide cover and concealment from which to command detonate devices.’
      • ‘The 120 mm antitank round, using a depleted uranium core, penetrated the earthen berms protecting enemy tanks and destroyed them.’
      • ‘Navy construction battalion personnel use a crawler tractor and wheeled loader to move sand during the construction of berms that will house weapons during the operation.’
      • ‘After dark on March 20, V Corps troops cross the berm separating the two countries and begin the drive to capture the capital.’
      • ‘On the outskirts of the city, armed forces have constructed an 80-mile network of earth barriers, or berms, to stop vehicles getting out across country.’
      • ‘There was no enormous defence system with massive berms and a highly-sophisticated system of underground trenches.’
      • ‘The air war was conducted with both forces on opposite sides of a long series of trenches, berms, and obstacles.’
      • ‘There was a huge sand berm around the entire airbase.’
      • ‘Another senior sergeant added, ‘We just needed to get across the berm sooner than we did.’’
      • ‘The Army Corps of Engineers helped by building berms, knocking down trees and triple stranding the site.’
      • ‘When we reached the valley, there were a few berms the snipers could use to lay behind in firing position.’
      • ‘Behind him on the other side of the trench, was a similar berm called the parados.’
      • ‘As the team stood near the ramp hinge, poised to exit the helicopter, the Sergeant saw a man duck behind a berm at the nine o'clock position.’
    3. 1.3 A narrow space between a ditch and the base of a parapet.
      • ‘Around the inside of the ditch is a small level space called the "berm", from the inner edge of which rises the parapet, formed by the earth thrown up from the ditch.’
      • ‘The height of the parapet wall is usually kept as above the berm level.’
      • ‘The researchers systematically investigated various overhanging and chamfered parapets at a vertical wall over a horizontal sea bottom with a small berm and three different water levels.’
      • ‘Immediately in front was a narrow berm, beyond which was a V-profile ditch.’
      • ‘The edge of berm is protected by erecting parapet wall of dry stone masonry in Gabion structure.’
      wall, rampart, fortification, parapet, stockade, palisade, barricade, embankment, earthwork, breastwork
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Early 18th century (denoting a narrow space): from French berme, from Dutch berm.