bereave

verb
be·​reave | \ bi-ˈrēv How to pronounce bereave (audio) , bē- \
bereaved or bereft\ bi-​ˈreft How to pronounce bereave (audio) , bē-​ \; bereaving

Definition of bereave

transitive verb

1 : to deprive of something usually used with of Madam, you have bereft me of all words …— William Shakespeare
2 : to take away (a valued or necessary possession) especially by force

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bereave

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bereave in a Sentence

news of a death in the family bereaved them of the unmitigated joy that normally prevails at a wedding

First Known Use of bereave

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bereave

Middle English bereven, from Old English berēafian, from be- + rēafian to rob — more at reave

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bereave

Time Traveler for bereave

Time Traveler

The first known use of bereave was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bereave

Cite this Entry

“Bereave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bereave. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bereave

What made you want to look up bereave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!