A berm is a raised strip of ground that runs along the side of a road or a body of water. You might stand on the berm by a lake with your fishing pole as you bait your hook.
A berm is any stretch of grass or land that forms a kind of shelf above or along a river, train tracks, or highway. Some berms are a natural feature of the landscape, while others are man made. A berm can form a barrier between two spaces, and when the word is used in a military context it means a defensive wall of sorts. It comes from an Old Dutch root, baerm, "edge of a dike."