Definition of give a wide berth in English:

give a wide berth


  • 1Steer (a ship) well clear of something while passing it.

    ‘ships are advised to give a wide berth to the Outer Banks’
    • ‘Give a wide berth to the foaming surf, and hug these cliffs, or before you can stop her the ship may take us over there and we'll be wrecked.’
    • ‘Recreational boaters are advised to give a wide berth to the massive cruise ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 when they visit Sydney Harbour tomorrow.’
    • ‘The anchor was weighed, the sails set and with the canoe in tow the little vessel bounded merrily over the waters, gave a wide berth to the reef, against whose frowning rocks the sea still lashed itself to foam, and kept away from the cove, where the English ship unconsciously awaited us.’
    • ‘When they neared Barbers Point they too saw a large column of ‘Army’ planes and so gave them a wide berth and continued on toward Ford Island.’
    • ‘Yet for all the masterful handling of the ship by the coxswain it became quite noticeable that we gave a wide berth to the other ship.’
    1. 1.1Stay away from someone or something.
      ‘I'd sworn to give women a wide berth’
      • ‘The other gangs tended to give them a wide berth.’
      • ‘Some people give you a wide berth when you are ill because they can't handle it.’
      • ‘The best advice is to give all thunderstorms a wide berth and not to even think about deliberately penetrating a storm front.’
      • ‘Jon and Laura have wandered in and are giving the interview a wide berth.’
      • ‘Now the doctors are recommending that people being screened for the disease give the dish a wide berth for a few days before going to hospital.’
      • ‘Personally, I would give both companies a wide berth because both they are too highly geared for my liking.’
      • ‘Certain methods of earning a living would be given a wide berth by most individuals, instinctively.’
      • ‘But she has toyed with my affections once too often and I gave her a wide berth.’
      • ‘However, fans of both directors should give this unwise collaboration a wide berth.’
      • ‘International visitors are giving the country a wide berth, partly because of misconceptions about the foot - and-mouth epidemic, and there are fears that the summer season could be disastrous.’
      • ‘I'd enjoyed my time with Paol, but decided to give his band a wide berth.’
      • ‘Surely it has been taken off the menu by now - but if not, give it a wide berth.’
      • ‘Interest in the game here is so low that the sports betting agencies seem to be giving it a wide berth.’
      • ‘Every sensible consumer should be giving these products a wide berth.’
      • ‘If you are someone that is easily swayed by advertisements, try to give them a wide berth.’
      • ‘Our backpacks remained unstolen; the average European gave us a wide berth.’
      • ‘Most people give them a wide berth and casually ignore their messages of doom.’
      • ‘The slow trade could be because the traditional high-spenders, from countries such as Japan and the United States, are still giving the country a wide berth.’
      • ‘People eyed them uneasily as they passed, giving the trio a wide berth.’
      • ‘The best approach is to avoid accidents and helmets actually lead to more accidents, so give them a wide berth and stay safe.’