be·​reft | \ bi-ˈreft How to pronounce bereft (audio) \

Definition of bereft

1a : deprived or robbed of the possession or use of something usually used with ofboth players are instantly bereft of their poise— A. E. Wier
b : lacking something needed, wanted, or expected used with ofthe book is … completely bereft of an indexThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
2 : suffering the death of a loved one : bereaved a bereft mother

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Synonyms for bereft


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Examples of bereft in a Sentence

She finds the child's mother, alone, who has apparently gone into the woods just to cry. The bereft mother is played by Julianne Moore. — Stanley Kauffmann, New Republic, 31 Jan. 2000 … made the tabloids when his wife ran off to France with her dentist and the bereft realtor placed a newspaper ad for a girl to adopt to keep him company. — Neal Gabler, Life: The Movie, 1998 It's not that the country was completely bereft of humor. — Joseph Contrevas, Newsweek, 6 June 1994 to one investigator, the bereft woman seemed to be taking the sudden death of her rich husband amazingly well a cheap motel completely bereft of all amenities
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Recent Examples on the Web The restaurants at Milan’s City Life shopping center, built at the base of a couple of major office towers, now all but bereft of employees, have been suffering. Fox News, "Italy keeps coronavirus pandemic under control, but many staying home to be safe," 2 July 2020 Even with lockdown loosening, the Scottish social calendar is bereft of such festivities. The Economist, "Scottish farming Agricultural shows go online," 27 June 2020 Among other things, that’s potentially great news for NFL fans in the region who’ve had to look to Dallas or Houston for something to give meaning to their bereft, provincial lives. Greg Jefferson,, "Jefferson: S.A. and Austin perfect together? Believe it," 29 May 2020 His voice remained monotone; his speech soft and bereft of inflection points. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "How Shea Patterson has surged at end of Michigan football career," 24 Nov. 2019 The Bruins weren’t bereft of talent when Kelly replaced Jim Mora, whose recruiting classes were regularly among the best in the conference, making fans wonder why the early results haven’t been better. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Winless UCLA hopes to replicate Mike Leach’s success at No. 19 Washington State," 20 Sep. 2019 This season is more reminiscent of 2013, another wide receiver bereft season for TBQB. Globe Staff,, "Julian Edelman is money, but Tom Brady needs to spread the wealth," 14 Dec. 2019 In one striking scene, a bereft Woolf runs through a dusty hall of big game trophies, a room full of dead things an apt setting for this woman fixated on her own death. Katie Walsh | Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "‘Vita & Virginia,’ a Portland Queer Film Festival pick, is a revealing, subversive look at a literary love affair," 19 Sep. 2019 Most formidable of all was Latonia Moore, whose bereft, God-fearing Serena spectacularly fused classical and popular styles. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Star-Crossed Pairings in “Porgy and Bess” and “Denis & Katya”," 7 Oct. 2019

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

1554, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bereft

see bereave

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Time Traveler for bereft

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The first known use of bereft was in 1554

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bereft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bereft


How to pronounce bereft (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bereft

: sad because a family member or friend has died


be·​reft | \ bi-ˈreft How to pronounce bereft (audio) \

Kids Definition of bereft

1 : not having something needed, wanted, or expected They passed miles of naked grapevines … bereft of their leaves.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising
2 : bereaved a bereft mother

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More from Merriam-Webster on bereft

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bereft

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bereft

Spanish Central: Translation of bereft

Nglish: Translation of bereft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bereft for Arabic Speakers

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