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bier

Line breaks: bier
Pronunciation: /bɪə
 
/

Definition of bier in English:

noun

A movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial or cremation or on which they are carried to the grave.
Example sentences
  • The body is carried to the grave in an open bier, followed by the funeral party, which is all male.
  • After the funeral ceremony, the body is carried on an iron bier on foot to the tower, by an even number of corpse bearers.
  • Family men, in turns, carried the bier in procession from the ashram to the waiting van for the 20-mile drive to the crematorium in the town.

Origin

Old English bēr, of Germanic origin; related to German Bahre, also to bear1.

More
  • bear from (Old English):

    The verb bear comes from Indo-European. Related forms are found in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, as well as in Latin and Greek. The core meaning is ‘to carry’. In English it is related to bier (Old English), the frame carrying a coffin or corpse. From early times bear has also been used of mental burdens, of suffering, or toleration. Wise people have encouraged us to bear and forbear, ‘be patient and endure’, since the 16th century, and from the mid 19th century others have told us more briskly to grin and bear it.

    Bear, the large animal, is a different Old English word that also goes back to ancient times. In Stock Exchange terminology a bear is a person who sells shares hoping to buy them back later at a lower price (the opposite of a bull). The use is said to be from a proverb warning against ‘selling the bear's skin before one has caught the bear’.

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