Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈbed\

Simple Definition of bed

  • : a piece of furniture that people sleep on

  • : something that is used to sleep on

  • : a small area of ground specially prepared for plants

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of bed

  1. 1 a :  a piece of furniture on or in which to lie and sleep b (1) :  a place of sex relations (2) :  marital relationship (3) :  close association :  cahoots <a legislator in bed with lobbyists> c :  a place for sleeping d :  sleep; also :  a time for sleeping <took a walk before bed> e (1) :  a mattress filled with soft material (2) :  bedstead f :  the equipment and services needed to care for one hospitalized patient or hotel guest

  2. 2 :  a flat or level surface: as a :  a plot of ground prepared for plants; also :  the plants grown in such a plot b :  the bottom of a body of water; especially :  an area of sea bottom supporting a heavy growth of a particular organism <an oyster bed>

  3. 3 :  a supporting surface or structure :  foundation

  4. 4 :  layer, stratum

  5. 5 a :  the place or material in which a block or brick is laid b :  the lower surface of a brick, slate, or tile

  6. 6 :  a mass or heap resembling a bed <a bed of ashes> <served on a bed of lettuce>

in bed
  1. :  in the act of sexual intercourse

Examples of bed in a sentence

  1. The room contains only a bed and a dresser.

  2. There are two beds in the hotel room.

  3. He lay in bed all morning.

  4. The blanket by the fireplace is the dog's bed.

  5. Her bed was a mound of soft pine needles.

  6. I'm planning on putting a bed of perennials in that corner of the yard.

Origin of bed

Middle English, from Old English bedd; akin to Old High German betti bed, Latin fodere to dig

First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Furniture and Woodworking Terms

Rhymes with bed




Simple Definition of bed

  • : to have sex with (someone)

  • : to place (food) on a pile or layer of something else

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of bed


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to find or make sleeping accommodations —usually used with down <a place to bed down> b :  to go to bed —usually used with down <bed down at midnight>

  3. 2 :  to form a layer

  4. 3 :  to lie flat or flush

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 a :  to furnish with a bed or bedding :  settle in sleeping quarters —often used with down b :  to put, take, or send to bed

  7. 2 a :  embed b :  to plant or arrange in beds c :  base, establish

  8. 3 a :  to lay flat or in a layer b :  to make a bed in or of

  9. 4 :  to have sexual intercourse with

Examples of bed in a sentence

  1. He has fantasies about bedding a fashion model.

  2. <the campers all bedded down for the night around 9:00 p.m.>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of bed

before 12th century



Definition of BEd

  1. bachelor of education

BED Defined for Kids



noun \ˈbed\

Definition of bed for Students

  1. 1 :  a piece of furniture on which a person sleeps or rests

  2. 2 :  a place for sleeping or resting <Deer made a bed in the grass.>

  3. 3 :  sleep or a time for sleeping <She reads before bed.>

  4. 4 :  a piece of ground prepared for growing plants

  5. 5 :  the bottom of something <the bed of a river>

  6. 6 :  1layer 1 <a thick bed of rock>




Definition of bed for Students


  1. :  to put or go to bed <She bedded down for the night.>

Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈbed\

Medical Definition of bed

  1. 1a:  a piece of furniture on or in which one may lie and sleep—see hospital bedb:  the equipment and services needed to care for one hospitalized patient

  2. 2:  a layer of specialized or altered tissue especially when separating dissimilar structures—see nail bed, vascular bed



Medical Definition of BED

  1. binge eating disorder <One of these patterns is called binge eating disorder (BED), in which, at least twice a week, people uncontrollably eat large quantities of food in a short time span but do not purge.—Carole Sugarman, The Washington Post, 3 May 1994>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


deserving imitation because of excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

soothe perplex reduce disapprove
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.