: a stand on which a corpse or coffin is placed
also : a coffin together with its stand
archaic : a framework for carrying

Examples of bier in a Sentence

lifted the bier from its stand and placed it in the hearse for its final journey
Recent Examples on the Web In it, Gracchus arrives at a port borne on a bier. Anthony Domestico, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2021 On Sunday, Benedict’s body lay on a burgundy-colored bier in the chapel of the monastery. Frances D'emilio,, 1 Jan. 2023 The funeral director led me into the empty chapel: the coffin was on a bier near a door, where, on the other side, the hearse was parked and waiting. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bier.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English bere, from Old English bǣr; akin to Old English beran to carry — more at bear

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of bier was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bier

Cite this Entry

“Bier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a stand on which a coffin is placed

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