[ bih-reft ]
/ bɪˈrɛft /


a simple past tense and past participle of bereave.


deprived: They are bereft of their senses. He is bereft of all happiness.

Nearby words

  1. bereans,
  2. bereave,
  3. bereaved,
  4. bereavement,
  5. berecyntia,
  6. berenice,
  7. berenice's hair,
  8. berenson,
  9. berenson, bernard,
  10. beresford

Origin of bereft

First recorded in 1525–35; be- + reft


[ bih-reev ]
/ bɪˈriv /

verb (used with object), be·reaved or be·reft, be·reav·ing.

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

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bereft

British Dictionary definitions for bereft


/ (bɪˈrɛft) /


(usually foll by of) deprived; parted (from)bereft of hope


/ (bɪˈriːv) /

verb (tr)

(usually foll by of) to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
obsolete to remove by force
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 bereft
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper