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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

Related Words for bereaving

dispossess, oust, sadden, rob, leave, strip, divest

Examples from the Web for bereaving

Historical Examples of bereaving

  • Would I have taken pleasure in bereaving thee of aught that was not hurtful?

    Clare Avery

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • In bereaving me of my love, she must be content to take my existence also.

    Jane Talbot

    Charles Brockden Brown

  • But she would not have cared for these things; while bereaving himself, he would have enriched her not at all.

  • But the bereaving day renders a boy destitute of his contemporaries; he is ever dejected, and his cheeks are bedewed with tears.


British Dictionary definitions for bereaving

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 for bereave

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 bereaving

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