\ ˈbed How to pronounce bed (audio) \

Definition of bed

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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 : 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
5a : 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
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
: 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 decisionsWhy 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


bedded; bedding

Definition of bed (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to find or make sleeping accommodations usually used with downa place to bed down
b : to go to bed usually used with downbed down at midnight
2 : to form a layer
3 : to lie flat or flush

transitive verb

1a : to furnish with a bed or bedding : settle in sleeping quarters often used with down
b : to put, take, or send to bed
2a : embed
b : to plant or arrange in beds
3a : to lay flat or in a layer
b : to make a bed in or of
4 : to have sexual intercourse with

Definition of BEd (Entry 3 of 3)

bachelor of education

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for bed

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bed in a Sentence

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: Verb Lightly engraved and bedded to a nicely figured but certainly not ornate stick of walnut, this rifle epitomized business. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "The 4 Coolest Rifles I’ve Ever Fired," 2 Mar. 2020 The cover these annuals provide is so thick that deer will often bed right in the plot. Gerald Almy, Field & Stream, "How to Prepare Your Food Plots This Winter for Deer Hunting Success in the Fall," 14 Feb. 2020 They’ll be bedded up in brush or creekbottoms, or even a brushy fence-line corner or a tree row. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, "Q&A With an Expert Farm-Country Coyote Hunter," 29 Jan. 2020 Your favorite internet-only bedding brand just went IRL. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Shop Brooklinen IRL at Its First-Ever Permanent Store in Brooklyn," 14 Jan. 2020 The trap is bedded in the smooth, disturbed ground in front of the hole. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "10 Lessons for First-Time Fur Trappers," 17 Dec. 2019 Richard Sorge drank heavily, bedded his associates’ wives—and provided the Soviets crucial information after Hitler’s invasion. WSJ, "What to Read This Weekend," 3 Jan. 2020 This is especially true when hunting close to bedded deer. Scott Einsmann, Outdoor Life, "Mobile Treestand Test: Climber vs. Hang-On vs. Tree Saddle," 15 Nov. 2019 Unbeaten in six, the Hammers are punching above their weight in fourth place - having bedded in new signing Sebastien Haller nicely, as well as welcoming back Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini from long-term injuries., "Losing Lukasz Fabianski to Injury Is 100% the Worst Thing That Could Have Happened to West Ham," 30 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of bed


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


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

History and Etymology for bed


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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bed

Time Traveler for bed

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bed

Cite this Entry

“Bed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bed


How to pronounce BEd (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of furniture that people sleep on
: something that is used to sleep on
: a small area of ground specially prepared for plants



English Language Learners Definition of bed (Entry 2 of 2)

informal + old-fashioned : to have sex with (someone)
: to place (food) on a pile or layer of something else


\ ˈbed How to pronounce bed (audio) \

Kids Definition of bed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of furniture on which a person sleeps or rests
2 : a place for sleeping or resting Deer made a bed in the grass.
3 : sleep or a time for sleeping She reads before bed.
4 : a piece of ground prepared for growing plants
5 : the bottom of something the bed of a river
6 : layer entry 1 sense 1 a thick bed of rock


bedded; bedding

Kids Definition of bed (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ ˈbed How to pronounce bed (audio) \

Medical Definition of bed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

Medical Definition of BED (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bed

Spanish Central: Translation of bed

Nglish: Translation of bed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bed for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bed

Comments on bed

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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