be·​reaved | \ bi-ˈrēvd How to pronounce bereaved (audio) , bē-\

Definition of bereaved

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: suffering the death of a loved one bereaved families of the victims


plural bereaved

Definition of bereaved (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone who is suffering the death of a loved one : one who is bereaved comfort the bereaved

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Synonyms for bereaved

Synonyms: Adjective


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Examples of bereaved in a Sentence


the bereaved parents of the victims the grief of the bereaved parents seemed to be without limit

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Something must be done about the deplorable way the system treats bereaved parents., "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 20 June 2019 Conceived in 1919 by bereaved mothers of the fallen and completed by the American Legion six years later, the war memorial has become part of the town's landscape. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court allows religious display on state land despite challenge over church-state separation," 25 Feb. 2019 My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Over 200 Dead in Sri Lanka Bombings," 21 Apr. 2019 Soon after the death of her sister Phyllis, the wife of a senior official in India, Lawrence agreed to marry her bereaved brother-in-law. David Gilmour, WSJ, "Five Best: David Gilmour on Memoirs of British India," 22 Feb. 2019 Studies have shown that bereaved people can experience grief hallucinations, and there are concerns that interacting with avatars might raise the risk. David Cox /, NBC News, "Will 'digital resurrections' let us bring back the dead?," 16 Apr. 2018 Michael’s death, caused by an undiagnosed complication from a gunshot wound, left Jane a bereaved widow. Maria Tallarico, Glamour, "9 Jane the Virgin Fan Theories That Will Keep You Up at Night," 11 Jan. 2019 The multi-faith service remembered those who lost their lives in the tragedy, and was attended by the bereaved and survivors. Kate Storey, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is Why Kate Middleton Wasn't at Prince Charles' Garden Party," 22 May 2018 While Three Billboards has been mired in some controversy, none of it has touched McDormand’s gritty performance as a bereaved mother seeking justice. Eliza Berman, Time, "Here's Who Will Win at the 2018 Oscars," 2 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But while the commemorations were cathartic, Chellat said, government support for the bereaved has been lacking: Some didn’t know how to find help. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "‘Trapped like a cat in a cage’: London’s Grenfell Tower survivors look back on the deadliest fire in modern British history," 13 June 2018 Survivors and the bereaved observed the silence at the foot Grenfell Tower, where a new mosaic was unveiled. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Remembering Grenfell, iconic landmarks glow green as Queen and Meghan join tributes," 14 June 2018 Veterans like the Phillipses serve as guides in the immediate aftermath, introducing the bereaved of Sandy Hook to those of San Bernardino and the parents of Virginia Tech to those of Roseburg, in a loose but growing network. Vivian Yee, New York Times, "For Parents of Shooting Victims, a Support Network That Keeps Growing," 18 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bereaved.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bereaved


1702, in the meaning defined above


1798, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bereaved


see bereave


see bereave

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Learn More about bereaved

Dictionary Entries near bereaved






be reborn


Statistics for bereaved

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for bereaved

The first known use of bereaved was in 1702

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More Definitions for bereaved



English Language Learners Definition of bereaved

formal : sad because a family member or friend has recently died


be·​reaved | \ bi-ˈrēvd How to pronounce bereaved (audio) \

Kids Definition of bereaved

: grieving over the death of a loved one a bereaved widow

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More from Merriam-Webster on bereaved

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bereaved

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bereaved

Spanish Central: Translation of bereaved

Nglish: Translation of bereaved for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bereaved for Arabic Speakers

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