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

Adjective the bereaved parents of the victims the grief of the bereaved parents seemed to be without limit
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei says the US is making the events even more painful for bereaved families by claiming the airliner was brought down by an Iranian missile. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "A timeline of the Ukraine plane crash and Iran’s conflicting statements," 12 Jan. 2020 The bereaved family never got over it, and Jao’s children suffered persecution for much of their lives afterward, Jilong Rao said. Washington Post, "AP honors journalist executed in 1951 by Chinese officials," 12 Dec. 2019 The nonprofit organization provides resources and support for bereaved children of members of the British Forces. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Dresses Up as Santa for a Sweet Children's Charity Video," 20 Dec. 2019 Not only are the bereaved parents of Ziada Berhane dealing with the unexpected death of their teen daughter, but the expenses to fly her body back to their home country of Eritrea mounted quickly. Max Londberg,, "Wish List: Family in debt after teen's sudden death, transporting her body to native Eritrea," 19 Dec. 2019 Yamen teamed up with other bereaved mothers in Iowa to create the Count the Kicks program. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, "Here are all the things I didn’t know about stillbirth, until it happened to me," 15 Oct. 2019 Could the bereaved owner have the sitter prosecuted? Donna Engle,, "Legal Matters: Unregulated and unlicensed, pet sitters difficult to prosecute in Maryland," 23 Nov. 2019 Thankfully, the commission soon moved away from this plan, instead offering bereaved parents £50 each. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "The True Story of the Aberfan Disaster," 15 Nov. 2019 Meir was scrupulous about the custom and frequently corresponded with bereaved families both privately and officially. Marcy Oster,, "Golda Meir’s Yom Kippur letter to bereaved families has been discovered," 8 Oct. 2019 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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Time Traveler for bereaved

Time Traveler

The first known use of bereaved was in 1702

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Statistics for bereaved

Last Updated

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bereaved.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for bereaved


How to pronounce bereaved (audio)

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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