Definition of bier in English:



  • A movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial or cremation or on which they are carried to the grave.

    • ‘When he died of cancer, a hundred thousand mourners viewed his bier.’
    • ‘My beloved Elisabeta lay on the same bier where she had wept for me only four nights prior.’
    • ‘He took one final, loving look at his father's serene face and bowed in most profound respect to the body on the bier.’
    • ‘Four silent soldiers with bowed heads stood at each corner of the bier.’
    • ‘After the funeral ceremony, the body is carried on an iron bier on foot to the tower, by an even number of corpse bearers.’
    • ‘But if he thought the gloss had been taken off his status as a global celebrity he might have been gratified to learn that after his death the procession that followed his funeral bier was more than half a mile long.’
    • ‘She knelt before the bier and bent her head down.’
    • ‘She thrust the torch into the funeral bier and watched as the fire caught and spread on the dry wood.’
    • ‘It would be conducted around a bier of wreaths and a serviceman's hat, with a firing party with heads bowed and a chaplain to read the words from the military burial service.’
    • ‘Family men, in turns, carried the bier in procession from the ashram to the waiting van for the 20-mile drive to the crematorium in the town.’
    • ‘But this time it is a disaster for the travelers, who are carrying a dead man on a bier to his tomb in his homeland.’
    • ‘‘Lift the bier, and send our comrades to the bosom of the water, to be safe forever,’ she said in ritual.’
    • ‘They found a bier in the hall and candles burning, and were taken into an inner room to murmur condolences.’
    • ‘He lay on a bier under a simple crucifix with his bishop's staff under his arm.’
    • ‘The closest this sublime chimera ever came to being realized was during the days when his body lay on its bier.’
    • ‘And I'd have wanted to join the long queue of people waiting to file past the bier at Westminster.’
    • ‘The body is carried to the grave in an open bier, followed by the funeral party, which is all male.’
    • ‘But on the bed, his city clothes are laid out like a corpse on its bier.’
    • ‘It was placed on a bier and taken to the cathedral.’
    • ‘His disciples and many animals gathered around the bier to mourn his passing.’


Old English bēr, of Germanic origin; related to German Bahre, also to bear.