pall·​bear·​er | \ ˈpȯl-ˌber-ər How to pronounce pallbearer (audio) \

Definition of pallbearer

: 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 Twenty-five years ago, the day before the start of the Masters, Ben Crenshaw was a pallbearer at the funeral of his mentor and coach, Harvey Penick. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "What We Miss Without the Masters," 10 Apr. 2020 At this time, the funeral director may tell you what help is needed at the funeral like pallbearers, a host site, or items for the funeral service like photos. USA TODAY, "Four communication steps after a death," 25 Mar. 2020 Gloves worn by pallbearers are draped on the casket of retired officer, Charles Jackson Jr., who died from Covid-19. Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus becomes leading cause of death in L.A. County as toll nears 800," 23 Apr. 2020 Her family, the nine able to be there, had to stay in their cars and watch as cemetery workers — no pallbearers allowed — took her casket out of the hearse and placed it in the vault. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, "'I can't even hug them': A family's frustrating goodbye to a matriarch killed by COVID-19," 22 Apr. 2020 That means many of the people who would act as honor guard pallbearers or rifle squad members are in the high-risk group for coronavirus. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "No 'Taps,' no rifle salutes: The last honor bestowed on military veterans has been halted by pandemic," 15 Apr. 2020 For liberal Jews, there’s also a lack of pallbearers now. Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY, "Religions alter death and burial rituals in wake of coronavirus, causing mourners more heartbreak," 24 Apr. 2020 Benson's service will also have several honorary pallbearers behind the casket, including Drew Brees, Anthony Davis, Sean Payton, Dell Demps, Alvin Gentry and longtime Saints administrative director Jay Romig. Josh Katzenstein,, "Saints visiting South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst next week: source," 21 Mar. 2018 An exception to Israel’s strict national lockdown was made so that Even could be buried Saturday night, with pallbearers appearing in protective biohazard gear. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Israel's first coronavirus death was Holocaust survivor," 23 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pallbearer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pallbearer

1949, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pallbearer

pall entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pallbearer

Time Traveler for pallbearer

Time Traveler

The first known use of pallbearer was in 1949

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pallbearer

Cite this Entry

“Pallbearer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pallbearer


How to pronounce pallbearer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pallbearer

: a person who helps to carry the coffin at a funeral


pall·​bear·​er | \ ˈpȯl-ˌber-ər How to pronounce pallbearer (audio) \

Kids Definition of pallbearer

: a person who helps to carry the coffin at a funeral

More from Merriam-Webster on pallbearer

Nglish: Translation of pallbearer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pallbearer

What made you want to look up pallbearer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!