Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
tr.v. be·reaved or be·reft (-rĕft′), be·reav·ing, be·reaves
1. To take a loved one from (a person), especially by death: "Cry aloud for the man who is dead, for the woman and children bereaved" (Alan Paton).
2. To take something valuable or necessary from (a person or thing): "He was subject to fits, which bereaved him ... of his senses" (David Hume).
1. (usually foll by of) to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
2. obsolete to remove by force
[Old English bereafian; see reave1]
v.t. -reaved -reft, -reav•ing.
1. to deprive and make desolate, esp. by death: Illness bereaved them of their mother.
2. to deprive ruthlessly or by force: War bereft us of our home.
[before 900; Middle English bereven, Old English berēafian, c. Old Saxon birōbōn, Old High German biroubōn, Gothic biraubon to rob]
Past participle: bereaved