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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bereaved

Synonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Another 3 percent were launched to pay for medical expenses, and 2 percent raised money for funerals and to support bereaved families left behind by a victim of COVID-19. San Diego Union-Tribune, "GoFundMe a go-to for struggling businesses, families, pet owners," 27 Sep. 2020 The bereaved shoe owner posted about the theft on a neighborhood watch website and received a flood of responses from similarly distressed victims. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine, "Sole-Searching, Shoe-Swiping Fox Caught in Germany," 11 Aug. 2020 In the evening, South Korea was to hold a ceremony with 300 war veterans, bereaved relatives and government officials at a military airport near Seoul. Washington Post, "2 Koreas mark war anniversary after pause in rising tensions," 25 June 2020 Each sheet represents another death, another bereaved family member looking for help. Victor Llorente, Popular Mechanics, "Inside a New York City Funeral Home’s Mission to Keep Bodies Out of Mass Graves," 24 Apr. 2020 Yang, who himself fled China after being briefly detained over his work with bereaved families, told the Times. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "China silencing Wuhan coronavirus survivors, bereaved families through hush money, police interrogation," 7 May 2020 Marcie’s insecurity is stirred by the sudden arrival of the even younger and hotter Keisha, the new wife of Jason’s recently widowed (and not very bereaved, tbh) 60-something-year-old boss, William Radford IV. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, "Need a Distraction? These Thrillers Will Have You on the Edge of Your Seat," 20 Mar. 2020 The ceremonies at military cemeteries typically draw the country's top leadership and bereaved families. NBC News, "Hard-line Shiites storm Iran shrines closed over coronavirus," 17 Mar. 2020 In his role as ringmaster and reality host, Mr. Trump introduced the bereaved parents of Kayla Mueller, the American aid worker who in 2015 was raped and slain in Syria by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "The State of Our Union Is . . . Entertaining," 5 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Both those who have lost a loved one and professionals serving the bereaved can get help finding government resources as well as crisis-relief services and more. Jennifer Wolff, Good Housekeeping, "There's a Dinner Party Group That Encourages People to Talk About Their Grief," 17 Nov. 2020 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bereaved

Time Traveler for bereaved

Time Traveler

The first known use of bereaved was in 1702

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bereaved

Cite this Entry

“Bereaved.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bereaved

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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