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bereaved

[bih-reevd]
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adjective
  1. (of a person) greatly saddened at being deprived by death of a loved one.
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noun
  1. a bereaved person or persons (usually preceded by the): to extend condolences to the bereaved.
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Origin of bereaved

1100–50; Middle English bireved, late Old English birēafod (past participle); see bereave, -ed2
Related formsun·be·reaved, adjective

bereave

[bih-reev]
verb (used with object), be·reaved or be·reft, be·reav·ing.
  1. to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of): Illness bereaved them of their mother.
  2. to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed by of): The war bereaved them of their home.
  3. Obsolete. to take away by violence.
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Origin of bereave

before 900; Middle English bereven, Old English berēafian; cognate with Dutch berooven, German berauben, Gothic biraubōn. See be-, reave1
Related formsbe·reave·ment, nounbe·reav·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bereaved

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And the lady blessed Evelyn, and felt that, if bereaved, she was not alone.

  • Therefore, like a bereaved mother, she only gave herself the more to her father.

    Salted With Fire

    George MacDonald

  • Where was the beautiful friendship that had been the comfort, the prop of her bereaved life?

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • For a moment he felt as if Vere were bereaved, were motherless.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • I listened to him and remembered an afternoon's visit to a bereaved mother.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby


British Dictionary definitions for bereaved

bereaved

adjective
  1. having been deprived of something or someone valued, esp through death
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bereave

verb (tr)
  1. (usually foll by of) to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
  2. obsolete to remove by force
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See also bereft

Word Origin

Old English bereafian; see reave 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bereaved

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper