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bereft

[bih-reft] /bɪˈrɛft/
verb
1.
a simple past tense and past participle of bereave.
adjective
2.
deprived:
They are bereft of their senses. He is bereft of all happiness.
Origin of bereft
1525-1535
1525-35; be- + reft

bereave

[bih-reev] /bɪˈriv/
verb (used with object), bereaved or bereft, bereaving.
1.
to deprive and make desolate, especially by death (usually followed by of):
Illness bereaved them of their mother.
2.
to deprive ruthlessly or by force (usually followed by of):
The war bereaved them of their home.
3.
Obsolete. to take away by violence.
Origin
before 900; Middle English bereven, Old English berēafian; cognate with Dutch berooven, German berauben, Gothic biraubōn. See be-, reave1
Related forms
bereavement, noun
bereaver, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bereft
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Soon thy sire will be bereft of his kingdom because of thy deeds; thy pride will bring death to thy kinsmen.

    Indian Myth and Legend Donald Alexander Mackenzie
  • She rested supinely against him, as if bereft of any strength of body or of soul.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • I had not recovered, but stood there open-mouthed and eyed, bereft of speech, until the necessity for action was thrust upon me.

    The Big Otter R.M. Ballantyne
  • Upbraid me with the loss of all of which you have bereft me.

  • The officers, as well as the spectators, sat dumb, bereft of speech.

    The Lost Despatch Natalie Sumner Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for bereft

bereft

/bɪˈrɛft/
adjective
1.
(usually foll by of) deprived; parted (from): bereft of hope

bereave

/bɪˈriːv/
verb (transitive)
1.
(usually foll by of) to deprive (of) something or someone valued, esp through death
2.
(obsolete) to remove by force
See also bereft
Word Origin
Old English bereafian; see reave1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for bereft
adj.

late 14c., past participle adjective from bereave (v.).

bereave

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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