AskDefine | Define berm

Dictionary Definition



1 a narrow ledge or shelf typically at the top or bottom of a slope
2 narrow edge of land (usually unpaved) along the side of a road [syn: shoulder]

User Contributed Dictionary



From berm, cognate of English brim.



  1. A narrow ledge or shelf, as along the top or bottom of a slope
  2. A raised bank or path, especially the bank of a canal opposite the towpath
  3. A terrace formed by wave action along a beach
  4. A mound or bank of earth, used especially as a barrier or to provide insulation
  5. A ledge between the parapet and the moat in a fortification
  6. A strip of land between a street and sidewalk (regional)


a strip of land between a street and sidewalk


  1. To provide something with a berm



  1. berm (a strip of land between a street and sidewalk)

Extensive Definition

A berm is a level space, shelf, or raised barrier separating two areas. Berm is a loanword from Dutch.


In mediaeval military engineering, a berm (or berme) was a level space between a parapet or defensive wall and an adjacent steep-walled ditch or moat.
  • In coastal systems, a berm is a raised ridge of pebbles or sand found at high tide or storm tide marks on a beach.
  • In snow removal, a berm or windrow refers to the linear accumulation of snow cast aside by a plow.
  • In open-pit mining, a berm refers to dirt and rock piled alongside a haulage road or along the edge of a dump point. Intended as a safety measure, they are commonly required by government organizations to be at least one-half as tall as the wheel of the largest mining machine on-site.
  • At some sports stadiums (mainly baseball, in the US), the berm is a grass area along the fence in foul and fair territory where spectators may sit and view games. Grassy berms are mainly found at smaller ballparks, such as for spring training, minor league teams, or college baseball. Admission prices are typically quite low and help attract fans. One such example is Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida, where the Philadelphia Phillies train and the minor league Clearwater Threshers play.
  • Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California is surrounded by a berm that was implemented to maintain the illusion of the park being a magical place removed from the real world. In many locations, the train that travels around the park rests upon or next to this berm. Some attractions, such as the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, are too large to fit entirely within the park, and thus are partly constructed outside the berm. Also, Mickey's Toontown was added to the park in 1993, and the lack of space necessitated that it lay almost entirely outside the berm.
  • Fabric products designed to provide secondary containment against leaks and spills are also known as berms. Placed under or around equipment, it acts as a barrier between machinery or fueling operations and serves to protect the environment beneath. One such example is the Insta-Berm.


berm in Danish: Berme
berm in German: Berme
berm in Estonian: Berm
berm in Basque: Berma
berm in Dutch: Berm
berm in Dutch Low Saxon: Baarm
berm in Japanese: 犬走り
berm in Ukrainian: Берма

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

alameda, bank, beach, beaten path, beaten track, bicycle path, boardwalk, bridle path, catwalk, coast, coastland, coastline, embankment, esplanade, fastwalk, foot pavement, footpath, footway, foreshore, garden path, groove, hiking trail, ironbound coast, lido, littoral, mall, parade, path, pathway, plage, playa, prado, promenade, public walk, riverside, riviera, rockbound coast, run, runway, rut, sands, sea margin, seabank, seabeach, seaboard, seacliff, seacoast, seashore, seaside, shingle, shore, shoreline, sidewalk, strand, submerged coast, tidewater, towing path, towpath, track, trail, trottoir, walk, walkway, waterfront, waterside
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