pall·​bear·​er ˈpȯl-ˌber-ər How to pronounce pallbearer (audio)
: a person who helps to carry the coffin at a funeral
also : a member of the escort or honor guard of the coffin who does not actually help to carry it

Examples of pallbearer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And as pallbearers walked Ms. Gentili’s coffin back up the aisle at the end of the service, chants once again echoed through the nave of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Liam Stack, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 By the time pallbearers carried Jonathan’s casket to the graveside, about 50 people had gathered for the ceremony. Mike Hixenbaugh, NBC News, 11 Feb. 2024 On Saturday morning, tribal pallbearers picked up P-22’s body from the Natural History Museum, said Amy Gusick, the museum’s curator of anthropology. Los Angeles Times, 6 Mar. 2023 Bono and Bob Geldof were also in attendance, while Johnny Depp was one of the pallbearers. Pat Saperstein, Variety, 8 Dec. 2023 The casket team features U.S. Supreme Court police officers, while the family of O’Connor has chosen honorary pallbearers. Jasmine Hilton, Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2023 Supreme Court police officers will serve on the casket team, and honorary pallbearers will be designated by the family. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 18 Dec. 2023 In addition to sharing readings and fond memories during the service, the couple's grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 29 Nov. 2023 Her grandchildren will serve as honorary pallbearers, with remarks or readings from her son James Earl Carter III, known as Chip; her daughter, Amy Carter; one of her grandsons; and three of her great-grandchildren. Peter Baker, New York Times, 28 Nov. 2023

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

Word History


pall entry 2

First Known Use

1949, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pallbearer was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near pallbearer

Cite this Entry

“Pallbearer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pall·​bear·​er ˈpȯl-ˌbar-ər How to pronounce pallbearer (audio)
: a person who helps to carry the coffin at a funeral

More from Merriam-Webster on pallbearer

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