Definition of bereft in English:



  • 1bereft ofDeprived of or lacking (something):

    ‘her room was stark and bereft of colour’
    • ‘Critics are also right in suggesting that his policy agenda is somewhat bereft of concrete plans.’
    • ‘Such is the current attack - one devoid of reason, bereft of honour and lacking in morality.’
    • ‘The collapse of the old left/right divide has left political life bereft of clear competing principles.’
    • ‘With little or no rain in the last week the venue should be bereft of any significant colour and roach and perch will be the main target species.’
    • ‘But the film is strikingly bereft of tangible anger, its mood more poignant than incendiary.’
    • ‘Tobacco has no attraction for me, though I am far from being bereft of vices.’
    • ‘Long grass on each side of the street, a derelict and neglected building bereft of glass and doors.’
    • ‘Determining what dreams mean is an inexact science, but not one bereft of logic and sense.’
    • ‘How can you feel bereft of something that you have never experienced?’
    • ‘Only Steve looked like a man ready to take responsibility while all around him players looked bereft of confidence.’
    • ‘Such a claim is bereft of imagination, competence and, dare I say, common sense.’
    • ‘There are the owners who go and leave their dogs at home for six or seven hours a day, bereft of human company and unable to relieve themselves.’
    • ‘Although deciduous, it reveals an attractive network of small stems and branches when bereft of leaves.’
    • ‘We are now sanitized and correct, factual and precise, but tragically bereft of relationship.’
    • ‘Why was he so chronically bereft of the social skills necessary for good political management?’
    • ‘Access to politicians is the least of our worries - the problem is that politics is bereft of any vision that inspires us.’
    • ‘The channel at best is purely vague and bereft of any creative leanings.’
    • ‘It was a curious match, bereft of the usual passion of the fixture.’
    • ‘Suddenly this community is bereft of sporting success and devoid of any heroes.’
    • ‘But these objects will be bereft of the patina of age, the rips, tears and stains that create a sense of history.’
    deprived of, robbed of, stripped of, denuded of
    cut off from, parted from, devoid of, destitute of, bankrupt of
    wanting, in need of, lacking, without, free from
    low on, short of, deficient in
    minus, sans, clean out of, fresh out of
    View synonyms
  • 2(of a person) sad and lonely, especially through someone's death or departure:

    ‘his death in 1990 left her bereft’
    • ‘It was like a wave of emotion as people told each other - people were absolutely bereft.’
    • ‘Though financially richer she is emotionally bereft and may never open herself up again.’
    • ‘Sarah is bereft and in her misery turns to Jannik, who to everyone's surprise grows up suddenly and takes responsibility for his brother's family.’
    • ‘You know, we have orphans and widows, and bereft people who are going to need our help for a long time to come.’
    • ‘But his wife's death left him bewildered and bereft.’
    • ‘Widows, bereft parents, and odd widower - you could always count on seeing a few of them sitting by a grave.’
    • ‘Repelled by crowded Europe, he opts for Southland, but is lonely and bereft.’
    • ‘As I worked, I thought often of my own parents and how bereft and sad I felt in the days after their deaths.’
    • ‘Each of the main characters is left bereft and haunted - literally - by the Civil War.’
    • ‘We had our health physically, but we were bereft emotionally.’
    • ‘The bereft father believes his son's killing was the result not just of an evil individual's action but of a growing problem with violence in schools.’
    • ‘A bereft woman stands near the rubble of her home, destroyed by bombs.’
    • ‘Now they've gone back to Ireland and his wife is bereft.’
    • ‘Of all the bereft women presented in this section, the servant-girl struck me as the most crushed.’
    • ‘I love having my dogs around, but now I'm totally bereft.’
    • ‘I hope this will be an opportunity to cross international boundaries and express practical help and love for those who are bereft and homeless.’
    • ‘But I was bereft, left, and wearing sorrow in the hottest sun Ireland had ever seen.’
    • ‘To his bereft family and friends in the racing fraternity we offer our condolences for their great loss and our appreciation for the memories of this brave young man.’
    • ‘They are bereft, insecure and despairing immigrants left in the street to beg.’
    • ‘She used the death of her mother to avoid the boys her own age, telling all would-be suitors that she had to take care of her poor bereft father.’


Late 16th century: archaic past participle of bereave.