Definition of bereave in English:



be bereaved
  • Be deprived of a close relation or friend through their death.

    ‘she had recently been bereaved’
    ‘bereaved families’
    ‘those who counsel the bereaved’
    • ‘Soon after this ordeal, Richard was bereaved by the death of his prematurely worn-out father.’
    • ‘In this heartland of rice paddies and small towns, family means a lot and sympathy for the recently bereaved even more.’
    • ‘The event, held each December, blesses the tree at the funeral home and invites bereaved families to tie a card on to it.’
    • ‘The entire village is in sombre mood, with thoughts turning to the families left bereaved.’
    • ‘He is the one who has to deal with shocked witnesses, and break the news to bereaved relatives.’
    • ‘During the American occupation, she visited orphans, bereaved families and war veterans.’
    • ‘There is so little we can do to comfort bereaved families but on this occasion all that could be done was done.’
    • ‘Candles will be lit and put on the altar by a representative from each family who have been bereaved.’
    • ‘This is a new charity that was set up by two families who were bereaved by suicide.’
    • ‘The new booklet is dedicated to individuals and families who have been bereaved by suicide.’
    • ‘Votes of sympathy were extended to all the members who were recently bereaved.’
    • ‘He offered condolences to all who had been bereaved and thanked all who had helped out in any way during the year.’
    • ‘David was always available to counsel bereaved relatives and set up a bereavement counselling service.’
    • ‘Rather, bereaved families would take comfort from the belief that their son or daughter died for a greater cause.’
    • ‘We wish to express our sincere condolences to all in our community who were bereaved during the year.’
    • ‘A lot of people I'm encountering lately seem to have been recently bereaved.’
    • ‘Many families have been bereaved following the deaths of men doing an honest day's work.’
    • ‘For the survivors and relatives of the bereaved the nightmare goes on.’
    • ‘I know of one who was bereaved and had friends and family speeding to offer their support.’
    • ‘The immediate response to such human tragedy must be empathy with the pain of those injured and the grief of those bereaved.’
    orphaned, widowed
    deprive, dispossess, rob, divest, strip
    View synonyms


Old English berēafian (see be-, reave). The original sense was ‘deprive of’ in general.