bed

1 of 3

noun

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)
f
: the equipment and services needed to care for one hospitalized patient or hotel guest
2
: a flat or level surface: such 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
: a supporting surface or structure : foundation
4
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
: a mass or heap resembling a bed
a bed of ashes
served on a bed of lettuce
7
: an open, usually rectangular cargo area or platform at the rear of truck
a pickup truck with a short bed
We loaded the equipment and put a cover over the truck bed.
8
music
a
: an instrumental or vocal track that is combined with other tracks to produce a musical composition
Turner gives the track an air of familiarity with his lead vocal, which sits atop an instrumental bed dominated by an infectious, sweeping string section. Music Week
b
: a musical soundtrack (as to a motion picture or television show)
As a video tribute … played on a projector screen, with a music bed complementing a montage of pictures from different stages of the players' lives, a mom admitted to having tears in her eyes. Joe Aguilar

bed

2 of 3

verb

bedded; bedding

intransitive verb

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
2
: to form a layer
3
: to lie flat or flush

transitive verb

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
2
a
: embed
b
: to plant or arrange in beds
3
a
: to lay flat or in a layer
b
: to make a bed in or of
4
: to have sexual intercourse with

BEd

3 of 3

abbreviation

bachelor of education
Phrases
go to bed with
: to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
She had gone to bed with a man she loved and had suffered the ultimate humiliation—rejection … Evelyn Anthony
in bed
: in the act of sexual intercourse
caught her husband and another woman in bed together
in/into bed with
informal
: in/into an improperly close relationship with
… he found himself in bed with those he used to see as the wrong kind of people … Ronald Radosh
The administration had gotten into bed with an obscure guerrilla army with which it had, in truth, few sympathies. Mark Dennis et al.
make one's bed and lie in it
used to say that one is responsible for dealing with the problems that result from one's own bad decisions
Why should taxpayers have to cover for the foolish investments and risky deals financial fat cats made? Wall Street made its bed, the thinking goes, and now those executives should lie in it. The Dallas Morning Star

Example Sentences

Noun The room contains only a bed and a dresser. There are two beds in the hotel room. He lay in bed all morning. The blanket by the fireplace is the dog's bed. Her bed was a mound of soft pine needles. I'm planning on putting a bed of perennials in that corner of the yard. Verb He has fantasies about bedding a fashion model. the campers all bedded down for the night around 9:00 p.m. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The girl’s father, a laborer, was out of work as a result of Sri Lanka’s economic meltdown and the whole family often went to bed hungry. Quartz, 11 Nov. 2022 Sitting in the middle of the living room was their son, absorbing the chalk talk and the rapport and the love of the game until mom chased him to bed. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 10 Nov. 2022 The results of key races in Michigan could remain unclear even as voters head to bed. Detroit Free Press, 8 Nov. 2022 The flood of last-minute balloting, along with the number of races that polls showed in a statistical tie, mean there will likely be plenty of uncertainty about winners when voters head to bed tonight. oregonlive, 8 Nov. 2022 On Monday night, Sam Bankman-Fried went to bed as one of the richest men in the world. Caitlin Mccabe, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 Those rumors were put to bed on Monday, when Angels general manager Perry Minasian said he would not be traded at all this offseason. Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2022 Websites and cable news can keep us glued to screens as the tallies rise, and then stop, before those counting go to bed for the night, or even sometimes subtract things that were added to the count by error. The Editors, National Review, 7 Nov. 2022 So [no] caffeine, alcohol, any snacks prior to bed. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 4 Nov. 2022
Verb
At The Dolder Grand in Zurich, for example, guests can bed down under the same roof as a 36-foot-wide Andy Warhol, as well as standout pieces by Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, and Salvador Dali. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 Though reservations book up quickly, Dry Tortugas does offer ten campsites on Garden Key for adventurous souls who want to bed down among the sand and surf. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 5 Sep. 2022 Washington plays Judith, a bride-to-be whose gay best friend (played by Jimmy Fowlie) tries to bed her fiancé and sabotage the wedding in order to keep Judith for himself. Naveen Kumar, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Aug. 2022 The Warriors got a fly-out and strikeout before putting the Huskies to bed on a final fly-out. Evan Dudley, al, 19 May 2022 Visitors without sails to sleep under can bed down in atmospheric pensions like Opoa Beach Hotel, with just nine bungalows fronting a stunning beach on the island's southeast corner. Terry Ward, Travel + Leisure, 28 Mar. 2022 Deer and others bed down under them for warmth in winter and to stay cool in summer. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2021 At over 3,500 square feet, the room boasts a large, private lap pool, a sweeping terrace overlooking majestic rock formations; and, the star of the show, a sky lounge area where guests can bed down for the night under the clear Utah skies. Juliet Izon, CNN, 19 July 2021 The homeless sleep in churches, schools, or the homes of local good Samaritans, while others bed down outside. New York Times, 2 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, going back to Old English bedd "sleeping place, plot of ground prepared for plants," going back to Germanic *badja- (whence Old Frisian bed "sleeping place," Old High German betti, Old Norse beðr "bolster, bedding," Gothic badi "sleeping place"), of uncertain origin

Note: Traditionally Germanic *badja- has been taken as a derivative of an Indo-European verbal base *bhodh-i- "poke, dig" (see fossil entry 1), on the assumption that a bed was originally a pit dug in the ground, though evidence that early Germanic or pre-Germanic peoples slept in pits seems to be lacking.

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bed was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bed

Cite this Entry

“Bed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bed. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

bed 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a piece of furniture on which to lie or sleep
b
: sleep entry 1 sense 1
also : a time for sleeping
watched TV before bed
2
a
: a plot of ground prepared for plants
b
: the bottom of a body of water
the bed of a river
3
: a supporting surface or structure : foundation
4
: layer entry 1 sense 2
a bed of sandstone

bed

2 of 2

verb

bedded; bedding
1
: to put or go to bed
bed down for the night
2
: to fix in or on a foundation
an argument bedded on good sense
3
: to plant or arrange in beds

Medical Definition

bed 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a piece of furniture on or in which one may lie and sleep see hospital bed
b
: the equipment and services needed to care for one hospitalized patient
2
: a layer of specialized or altered tissue especially when separating dissimilar structures see nail bed, vascular bed

BED

2 of 2

abbreviation

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bed

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ