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 of both players are instantly bereft of their poise— A. E. Wier
b : lacking something needed, wanted, or expected used with of the 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 Our solar system is remarkably bereft of these worlds, which weigh in at two to 10 times the mass of our own planet. Adam Frank, Scientific American, 21 July 2021 What a waste that in practice, the film would turn out to be the plainest version of itself, all but bereft of the knowing humor and grabby perversion that makes this disreputable genre great. Charles Bramesco, Vulture, 19 May 2021 As for reparations to the descendants of the thousands left homeless and bereft, that is another matter., 21 June 2020 Women’s tennis has for too long been bereft of rivalries. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, 30 May 2021 The passenger is bereft of a direct means to control the vehicle and ergo entirely at the whim of the driver. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Capital was bereft of an imagination that could make place for our unhoused neighbors, that could see the connection between them and the housed or illuminate their worth. Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 But for most of the past year, his studio — a chic condo that is also his home — had been bereft of students and their music. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 Tuesday’s hearing was noticeably bereft of voices from the trucking and automobile and driver advocate community. oregonlive, 12 May 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near bereft

be reborn


bereft of

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Statistics for bereft

Last Updated

28 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bereft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for bereft



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

More from Merriam-Webster on bereft

Nglish: Translation of bereft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bereft for Arabic Speakers


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