Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A narrow ledge or shelf, as along the top or bottom of a slope.
  • n. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, & West Virginia The shoulder of a road.
  • n. A raised bank or path, especially the bank of a canal opposite the towpath.
  • n. A nearly horizontal or landward-sloping portion of a beach, formed by the deposition of sediment by storm waves.
  • n. A mound or bank of earth, used especially as a barrier or to provide insulation.
  • n. The flat space between the edge of a ditch and the base of a fortification.
  • transitive v. To provide with a berm or berms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A narrow ledge or shelf, as along the top or bottom of a slope
  • n. A raised bank or path, especially the bank of a canal opposite the towpath
  • n. A terrace formed by wave action along a beach
  • n. A mound or bank of earth, used especially as a barrier or to provide insulation
  • n. A ledge between the parapet and the moat in a fortification
  • n. A strip of land between a street and sidewalk (regional)
  • v. To provide something with a berm

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A narrow shelf or path between the bottom of a parapet and the ditch.
  • n. A ledge at the bottom of a bank or cutting, to catch earth that may roll down the slope, or to strengthen the bank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A narrow ledge; specifically, in fortification, a space of ground or a terrace from 3 to 5 feet in width, left between the rampart and the moat or foss, designed to receive the ruins of the rampart in the event of a bombardment, and to prevent the earth from filling the foss.
  • n. The bank or side of a canal which is opposite to the towing-path. Also called berm-bank.
  • n. In railroad engin., the narrow horizontal plane between the foot of the embankment or excavation slope and the top of the slope of the side-ditch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a narrow ledge or shelf typically at the top or bottom of a slope
  • n. a narrow edge of land (usually unpaved) along the side of a road

Etymologies

French berme, from Dutch berm, from Middle Dutch bærm, berme.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dutch berm, cognate of English brim. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.


  • is it a hare-a-do about munching?

    September 29, 2011

  • Berm, Baby! Berm!

    August 5, 2011

  • I was hearing a lot about an aqua berm north of Omaha recently.

    August 4, 2011

  • Members of the Missouri National Guard brought in trucks with sand and heavy equipment to help with the recovery effort. They built a berm to redirect the current of floodwater so it would make the search effort easier.

    August 4, 2011

  • Makes me want to read it again..

    February 25, 2009

  • I stick my plate under Mom's nose, but she waves it off. I sit in Pop's old rocker, watch the storm come. Dust devils puff around on the berm, and maple sprigs land in the yard with their white bellies up.
    Across the road, our windbreak bends, rows of cedars furling every which way at once. - Pcake

    February 25, 2009

  • I read Pancake recently, but I didn't notice his superlative berm usage.

    May 10, 2008

  • Wow. I started to wonder whether anyone else knew of Pancake. :-)

    November 2, 2007

  • November 2, 2007