bereave

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English bereven, from Old English berēafian (to bereave, deprive of, take away, seize, rob, despoil) and Old English berēofan (to bereave, deprive, rob of); both equivalent to be- +‎ reave. Cognate with Dutch beroven (to rob, deprive, bereave), German berauben (to deprive, rob, bereave), Danish berøve (to deprive of), Norwegian berove (to deprive), Swedish beröva (to rob), Gothic 𐌱𐌹𐍂𐌰𐌿𐌱𐍉𐌽 (biraubōn).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

bereave (third-person singular simple present bereaves, present participle bereaving, simple past and past participle bereaved or bereft)

  1. (transitive) To deprive by or as if by violence; rob; strip.
    • William Shakespeare
      Madam, you have bereft me of all words.
    • Tickell
      bereft of him who taught me how to sing
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To take away by destroying, impairing, or spoiling; take away by violence.
    • William Shakespeare
      All your interest in those territories
      Is utterly bereft you; all is lost.
    • Marlowe
      [] shall move you to bereave my life.
  3. (transitive) To deprive of power; prevent.
  4. (transitive) To take away someone or something that is important or close; deprive.
    Death bereaved him of his wife.
    The castaways were bereft of hope.
  5. (intransitive, rare) To destroy life; cut off.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]