be·​reave·​ment | \ bi-ˈrēv-mənt How to pronounce bereavement (audio) , bē-\

Definition of bereavement

: the state or fact of being bereaved or deprived of something or someone

Examples of bereavement in a Sentence

The following May, my wife and I flew to London for my father's funeral. Pam, determined to wrangle us an upgrade to business class on the strength of my bereavement, gave the British Airways ticketing clerk two passports and a sob story. — John Haney, Gourmet, January 2003 In the sections of her book that should prove an enduring contribution to the literature of grief, Ms. Gilbert recounts her free fall into widowhood, starting with that modern rite of bereavement, the erasing of the answering-machine message. — James S. Kunen, New York Times Book Review, 19 Mar. 1995 In any case, sadness and loss of interest and drive during periods of bereavement are expected and normal. If Mozart had not been upset by his parents' deaths, his wife's illnesses, and his separations from her, he would be less than human. — William A. Frosch, Musical Quarterly, 1990 a period of grief after bereavement people who have recently suffered bereavements
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Recent Examples on the Web

For Americans, that sounds a lot like bereavement leave, which employers often offer following the death of a family member or other loved one. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Took a Week of Bereavement Leave from Work to Process Her 2007 Breakup with Prince William," 8 June 2019 Two fathers—one Israeli and one Palestinian—shared their personal, devastating stories of bereavement with the group. Katie Knorovsky, National Geographic, "Bringing it Home: Holy Land Travelers Are Moved to Action," 8 Apr. 2019 On May 24, Kelly was put on the bereavement list for reasons that were undisclosed. Houston Mitchell,, "Dodgers Dugout: Cody Bellinger is having the best season in Dodger history," 3 June 2019 While every loss is different and there are no lines of dialogue that will apply to everyone, suicide bereavement counselors do have some recommendations for what to say in this awful circumstance—and what not to say too. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "7 Things to Say When a Friend’s Loved One Dies by Suicide (and 3 to Avoid)," 5 Feb. 2019 Brandy Spurgeon was the first mother to receive a gown from Riley's bereavement program. Kate Bennis, Good Housekeeping, "These Angel Gowns Bring Comfort to Grieving Families," 26 Dec. 2018 According to Enterprise News, Scott has been stationed in Kosovo and was on bereavement leave following the death of his father. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Army pilot dies, brother injured in Massachusetts single-engine plane crash," 25 Aug. 2018 Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi was placed on the bereavement list Friday following the death of a family member. Julian Benbow,, "Red Sox place Andrew Benintendi on bereavement leave," 13 July 2018 Players placed on the bereavement list must miss at least three games but can not miss any more than seven. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Jake Marisnick talks about quick return to big leagues," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bereavement.' 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 bereavement

1660, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bereavement

see bereave

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Learn More about bereavement

Dictionary Entries near bereavement





be reborn


bereft of

Statistics for bereavement

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bereavement

The first known use of bereavement was in 1660

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More Definitions for bereavement



English Language Learners Definition of bereavement

: the state of being sad because a family member or friend has recently died
: the death of a family member or friend

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More from Merriam-Webster on bereavement

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bereavement

Spanish Central: Translation of bereavement

Nglish: Translation of bereavement for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bereavement for Arabic Speakers

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