Meaning of bier


A bier is a structure used to hold a coffin during a funeral. When a popular public figure dies, crowds of mourners may line up in order to walk past the bier and pay their respects.

You might confuse this word with beer, its homonym — but you can’t drink a bier. The word comes from the Old English bær, “handbarrow or litter,” and its root meaning, “to carry.” Some biers are stationary frames, while others can be lifted and carried by pallbearers as they transport a coffin. It’s a sad occasion that requires a bier.

Definitions of bier
  1. noun

    a stand to support a corpse or a coffin prior to burial

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    a decorated bier on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral
    type of:

    rack, stand

    a support for displaying various articles

  2. noun

    a coffin along with its stand

    “we followed the
    bier to the graveyard”
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    type of:

    casket, coffin

    box in which a corpse is buried or cremated

Word Family

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