Bereaved and bereft
The words bereaved and bereft are used in entirely different ways.
Bereaved refers to bereavement (losing someone you love to death). Bereft refers to other kinds of loss or dispossession. Note that both bereaved and bereft are followed by the preposition ‘of’.
Compare the examples given below.
- The accident bereaved Martin of his wife and child. (= Martin lost his wife and child in the accident.)
- They sat there bereft of all hope.
- The refugees arrived bereft of their possessions.
- The rioters behaved as if they were altogether bereft of their senses.