Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To leave desolate or alone, especially by death: "Cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved” ( Alan Paton).
  • transitive v. Archaic To take (something valuable or necessary), typically by force.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To deprive by or as if by violence; rob; strip.
  • v. To take away by destroying, impairing, or spoiling; take away by violence.
  • v. To deprive of power; prevent.
  • v. To take away someone or something important or close; deprive.
  • v. To destroy life; cut off.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make destitute; to deprive; to strip; -- with of before the person or thing taken away.
  • transitive v. To take away from.
  • transitive v. To take away.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deprive by or as if by violence; rob; strip: with of before the thing taken away.
  • [It is sometimes used without of, more especially in the passive, the subject of the verb being either the person deprived or the thing taken away.
  • To take away by destroying, impairing, or spoiling; take away by violence.
  • To deprive of power; prevent.
  • To destroy life; cut off.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. deprive through death

Etymologies

Middle English bireven, to deprive, from Old English berēafian; see reup- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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 berove ("to deprive of"), Norwegian berove ("to deprive"), Swedish berova ("to rob"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "bereave" in Eze 36: 13; but "cause to fall" or "stumble," in the Hebrew text or Chetib, being the more difficult reading, is the one least likely to come from a corrector; also, it forms a good transition to the next subject, namely, the moral cause of the people's calamities, namely, their falls, or stumblings through sin.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • It is unconscionable to think that people are dropping like flies on Syrian streets, the injured are hiding in private homes to avoid capture or cold-blooded murder, the funeral procession are being shot at with many killed at a time they bereave the dead, the detained are tortured and many die and are buried in mass graves, yet the international community seems only willing to extend words of comfort. . .

    Notable & Quotable

  • To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole kingdom.

    The Most Ignominious Chapter of Our History : Law is Cool

  • Anyway, indefinite detention without any review is worse than just killing: To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must once convey the alarm of tyranny thoroughout the whole kingdom.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Defamation by Government Still Political Question

  • Voyage, which she was very unwilling to permit, as being loth to bereave my Father of his Company; and therefore most earnestly invited Him along with me; but he cou'd not be prevail'd upon to leave his beloved Cell, which no doubt was to him a certain Heaven, where his devout Soul conversed daily with the Powers divine.

    Exilius

  • 'To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government.

    OpEdNews - Quicklink: Froomkin: A Blow Against Tyranny

  • God help us! by Gallaher on Friday, Nov 21, 2008 at 12: 32: 12 AM change we can bereave in by io on Friday, Nov 21, 2008 at 4: 23: 44 AM

    Obama and the Great Depression

  • Then he wept for her with sore weeping and said to his brothers, “It was not well of you to do this deed and bereave me of my wife.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Rejoined Afridun, “May the Messiah not bereave us of thy venerable parent nor deprive her of her wile and guile!”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • “May Allah never bereave thy friends of thee nor make them desolate by shine absence, O son of my uncle, O my dear cousin!”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

Comments

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  • Samuel is bereft of conjugal bliss after his wife passed away from a sudden road accident.

    February 15, 2013