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.
a stand to support a corpse or a coffin prior to burial
a coffin along with its stand