- a city in and the capital of Switzerland, in the W part: capital of Bern canton.
- a canton in W Switzerland. 2658 sq. mi. (6885 sq. km). Capital: Bern.
- the capital of Switzerland, in the W part, on the Aar River: entered the Swiss confederation in 1353 and became the capital in 1848. Pop: 122 700 (2002 est)
- a canton of Switzerland, between the French frontier and the Bernese Alps. Capital: Bern. Pop: 950 200 (2002 est). Area: 6884 sq km (2658 sq miles)
Swiss capital, probably originally from PIE root *ber- “marshy place,” but by folk etymology from German Bär “bear” (cf. Berlin). Related: Bernese.