Bereave



to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of):
Illness bereaved them of their mother.
to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed by of):
The war bereaved them of their home.
Obsolete. to take away by violence.
Historical Examples

But if that union be calculated to bereave her of happiness, it cannot certainly be conducive to yours.
Jane Talbot Charles Brockden Brown

What we love that we have, but by desire we bereave ourselves of the love.
Essays, First Series Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though ye take from a covetous man his treasure, he has yet one jewel left; ye cannot bereave him of his covetousness.
On Compromise John Morley

I think of the fathers and mothers whom further fighting must bereave.
Foch the Man Clara E. Laughlin

Receive, and believe, and bereave should be cut out at once.
How Doth the Simple Spelling Bee Owen Wister

It seemed as if God intended to bereave us of her, for he brought her even to death’s door.
The Wonders of Prayer Various

Yea, though they bring up their sons I bereave them, till they are poor in men.
The Expositor’s Bible: The Book of the Twelve Prophets, Vol. I George Adam Smith

The loss of all others will not bereave you of happiness if this be possessed.
Jane Talbot Charles Brockden Brown

To whom, think ye, is your life of such consequence, that they should seek to bereave ye of it?
Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated Sir Walter Scott

And yet imperious necessity may bereave us even of that joy.
Jane Talbot Charles Brockden Brown

verb (transitive)
(usually foll by of) to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
(obsolete) to remove by force
v.

Old English bereafian “to deprive of, take away, seize, rob,” from be + reafian “rob, plunder,” from Proto-Germanic *raubojanan, from PIE *reup- “to snatch” (see rapid). A common Germanic formation (cf. Old Frisian birava “despoil,” Old Saxon biroban, Dutch berooven, Old High German biroubon, German berauben, Gothic biraubon). Since mid-17c., mostly in reference to life, hope, loved ones, and other immaterial possessions. Past tense forms bereaved and bereft have co-existed since 14c., now slightly differentiated in meaning, the former applied to loss of loved ones, the latter to circumstances.

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  • Bereaved

    (of a person) greatly saddened at being deprived by death of a loved one. a bereaved person or persons (usually preceded by the): to extend condolences to the bereaved. to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of): Illness bereaved them of their mother. to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed […]

  • Bereft

    a simple past tense and past participle of bereave. deprived: They are bereft of their senses. He is bereft of all happiness. to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of): Illness bereaved them of their mother. to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed by of): The war bereaved them of […]



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    to celebrate in verse. Historical Examples This is thy humour to berhyme us still;Never so slightly pleased, but out they fly. The Works of John Marston John Marston

  • Beribboned

    adorned with ribbons. Historical Examples I descended the steps, the dainty, beribboned slipper still in my hand, got into my carriage and started back to the city. 54-40 or Fight Emerson Hough They are elaborately clipped and powdered and beribboned by special “coiffeurs.” Behind the Beyond Stephen Leacock It was too early for the throng […]



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