Origin obscure. Possibly from Middle English *berth (“bearing, carriage”), equivalent to bear + -th.
Alternatively, from an alteration of Middle English beard, bærde (“bearing, conduct”), itself of obscure formation. Compare Old English ġebǣru (“bearing, conduct, behaviour”).
berth (plural berths)
- A fixed bunk for sleeping in (caravans, trains, etc).
- Room for maneuvering or safety. (Often used in the phrase a wide berth.)
- A space for a ship to moor or a vehicle to park.
- (nautical) A room in which a number of the officers or ship's company mess and reside.
- A job or position, especially on a ship.
- (sports) Position or seed in a tournament bracket.
- (sports) position on the field of play
berth (third-person singular simple present berths, present participle berthing, simple past and past participle berthed)
- (transitive) to bring (a ship or vehicle) into its berth
- (transitive) to assign a berth (bunk or position) to