wide berth


Also found in: Idioms.

wide berth

[′wīd ′bərth]
(navigation)
A vessel which keeps well away from another ship or navigational hazard is said to give the other ship or hazard a wide berth.
References in classic literature ?
Nobody would live in it afterward, or go near it by night, and most people even gave it a wide berth in the daytime.
Occasionally he passed parties of savage warriors; but these he gave a wide berth, for he was hunting with a purpose that was not to be distracted by the minor accidents of the trail.
I remember clearly how I swerved as I ran, to go past it, and that I gave it a needlessly wide berth.
It was with difficulty, however, that Akut kept the boy from rushing into the midst of the dancing anthropoids--an act that would have meant the instant extermination of them both, since the hysterical frenzy into which the great apes work themselves during the performance of their strange rites is of such a nature that even the most ferocious of the carnivora give them a wide berth at such times.
The boys gazed awhile, half expecting to see a blue light flit past a window; then talking in a low tone, as befitted the time and the circumstances, they struck far off to the right, to give the haunted house a wide berth, and took their way homeward through the woods that adorned the rearward side of Cardiff Hill.
I left it there, with the water rippling round it, under the still stars, and giving it a wide berth pursued my way towards the yellow glow of the house; and presently, with a positive effect of relief, came the pitiful moaning of the puma, the sound that had originally driven me out to explore this mysterious island.
The very birds of the air, as it seems to me, give the Shivering Sand a wide berth.
He was now in German East Africa and it was his intention to skirt the mountains west of Kilimanjaro, whose rugged peaks he was quite willing to give a wide berth, and then swing eastward along the south side of the range to the railway that led to Tanga, for his experience among men suggested that it was toward this railroad that German troops would be likely to converge.
Haul oil, Master Bumppo, haul off, I say, and give a wide berth to the seine.
They caught sight of him almost immediately and broke into a trot away from him; but when they saw that he was apparently giving them a wide berth they stopped again, though they stood watching him, with high-held heads and quivering nostrils.
And we gave them a wide berth as we crept across the grass.
Not a liner in air but knows the meaning of that vertical beam and gives us and our quarry a wide berth.