- a simple past tense and past participle of bereave.
- deprived: They are bereft of their senses. He is bereft of all happiness.
Origin of bereft
- to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of): Illness bereaved them of their mother.
- to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed by of): The war bereaved them of their home.
- Obsolete. to take away by violence.
Origin of bereave
Examples from the Web for bereft
Bereft of a competitive 2016 primary, Democrats are backing candidates for Clinton campaign manager.The Race to Be Hillary’s Karl Rove
November 26, 2014
They happened to men, to women, to young and old, to scientists and sailors, to the bereft and to the content.Knocking on Heaven's Door: True Stories of Unexplained, Uncanny Experiences at the Hour of Death
August 11, 2014
Kirsty, understandably, was not impressed at being dumped on her dream day, and her bereft wail filled the church.America, Presenting Your New Addiction: ‘The Archers’
April 25, 2014
One lost game and he seems as bereft and broken as Willy Loman.The All-American Abuse of ‘Friday Night Tykes’
January 23, 2014
One about teens battling to the death, and several about bereft middle-aged people struggling to keep it together.Whatever Happened to Great Holiday Films?
December 1, 2013
She rested supinely against him, as if bereft of any strength of body or of soul.Within the Law
Upbraid me with the loss of all of which you have bereft me.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
Had he, too, been bereft in the hour of his proud and perfect joy?Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
For a moment Nuttall was bereft of speech by such ingratitude.Captain Blood
The knight's words restored to him the courage of which Rosamund's had bereft him.The Sea-Hawk
- (usually foll by of) deprived; parted (from)bereft of hope
- (usually foll by of) to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
- obsolete to remove by force
Word Origin and History for bereft
late 14c., past participle adjective from bereave (v.).
Old English bereafian "to deprive of, take away, seize, rob," from be + reafian "rob, plunder," from Proto-Germanic *raubojanan, from PIE *reup- "to snatch" (see rapid). A common Germanic formation (cf. Old Frisian birava "despoil," Old Saxon biroban, Dutch berooven, Old High German biroubon, German berauben, Gothic biraubon). Since mid-17c., mostly in reference to life, hope, loved ones, and other immaterial possessions. Past tense forms bereaved and bereft have co-existed since 14c., now slightly differentiated in meaning, the former applied to loss of loved ones, the latter to circumstances.