Entries linking to bereavement
Middle English bireven, from Old English bereafian "to deprive of, take away by violence, seize, rob," from be- + reafian "rob, plunder," from Proto-Germanic *raubōjanan, from PIE *runp- "to break" (see corrupt (adj.)). A common Germanic formation; compare Old Frisian biravia "despoil, rob, deprive (someone of something)," 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.
common suffix of Latin origin forming nouns, originally from French and representing Latin -mentum, which was added to verb stems to make nouns indicating the result or product of the action of the verb or the means or instrument of the action. In Vulgar Latin and Old French it came to be used as a formative in nouns of action. French inserts an -e- between the verbal root and the suffix (as in commenc-e-ment from commenc-er; with verbs in ir, -i- is inserted instead (as in sent-i-ment from sentir).
Used with English verb stems from 16c. (for example amazement, betterment, merriment, the last of which also illustrates the habit of turning -y to -i- before this suffix).
The stems to which -ment is normally appended are those of verbs; freaks like oddment & funniment should not be made a precedent of; they are themselves due to misconception of merriment, which is not from the adjective, but from an obsolete verb merry to rejoice. [Fowler]
updated on May 20, 2017