bereavement vs mourning what difference

what is difference between bereavement and mourning



bereave +‎ -ment


bereavement (countable and uncountable, plural bereavements)

  1. The state of being bereaved; deprivation; especially the loss of a relative by death
    • 1864 November 21, Abraham Lincoln (signed) or John Hay, letter to Mrs. Bixby in Boston
      I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost


See also

  • mourning



  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɔɹnɪŋ/; (rare) IPA(key): /ˈmʊɹnɪŋ/
  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmɔːnɪŋ/; (rare) IPA(key): /ˈmʊənɪŋ/
  • (rhotic, without the horsehoarse merger) IPA(key): /ˈmo(ː)ɹnɪŋ/; (rare) IPA(key): /ˈmʊɹnɪŋ/
  • (non-rhotic, without the horsehoarse merger) IPA(key): /ˈmoənɪŋ/; (rare) IPA(key): /ˈmʊənɪŋ/
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)nɪŋ
  • Homophones: morning (accents with the horse–hoarse merger), moaning (accents with the dough–door merger)



  1. present participle of mourn


mourning (countable and uncountable, plural mournings)

  1. The act of expressing or feeling sorrow or regret; lamentation.
  2. Feeling or expressing sorrow over someone’s death.
    • 1900, L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Chapter 23
      “My greatest wish now,” she added, “is to get back to Kansas, for Aunt Em will surely think something dreadful has happened to me, and that will make her put on mourning; and unless the crops are better this year than they were last, I am sure Uncle Henry cannot afford it.”
  3. The traditional clothes worn by those who mourn (in Western societies, typically coloured black).
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, p. 88:
      ‘I’m bored. I can’t go out anywhere because it’s too soon and I have to wear this disgusting mourning.’
  4. Drapes or coverings associated with mourning.
    • The houses to their tops with black were spread, / And ev’n the pavements were with mourning hid.

Derived terms

  • national mourning


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