(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.

1100–50; Middle English bireved, late Old English birēafod (past participle); see bereave, -ed2

unbereaved, adjective Unabridged


verb (used with object), bereaved or bereft, bereaving.
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.

before 900; Middle English bereven, Old English berēafian; cognate with Dutch berooven, German berauben, Gothic biraubōn. See be-, reave1

bereavement, noun
bereaver, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bereave (bɪˈriːv)
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]

bereaved (bɪˈriːvd)
having been deprived of something or someone valued, esp through death

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bereafian "to deprive of, take away, seize, rob," from be + reafian "rob, plunder," from P.Gmc. *raubojanan, from PIE *reup-, *reub- "to snatch." A common Germanic formation (cf. Du. berooven, Ger. berauben, Goth. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
We extend heartfelt sympathy to his bereaved family.
Contrary to this so called research, talking with other bereaved parents has
  been a true life saver.
Grown-ups say the darnedest things when trying to comfort the bereaved.
Heartfelt sympathy is extended to the bereaved family.
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