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 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 Of course, many of us are bereft of space for bonfires. Amy Drew Thompson,, "National S’mores Day is Aug. 10: Here’s where to get toasted," 8 Aug. 2019 One Vindicator journalist told me it would be telling to have a show of hands at the mournful community meeting: How many of the bereft were actual subscribers? Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, "‘Democracy . . . is about to die in Youngstown’ with closing of the local newspaper," 7 July 2019 The Phillies aren’t completely bereft of options, though McCuthen’s injury adds a jolt of instability as the division race heats up. Michael Shapiro,, "Forget Harper and Machado. Yankees Scored With Free-Agent Bet on DJ LeMahieu," 26 June 2019 My book manuscript was due to my editor in less than a year, but marshaling my despondent, wildly bereft thoughts for the purposes of creative work seemed a hurdle too elephantine to overcome. Rachel Vorona Cote, SELF, "Why I Embraced Skin Care After My Mother's Death," 18 Apr. 2019 When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. . Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews Fiona Barton's 'The Suspect'," 4 Mar. 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

25 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bereft.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 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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