\ 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bed

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The world’s work is done every day by people who could have stayed in bed ... but didn’t. Harvey Mackay, Star Tribune, "Enthusiasm is a must in every profession," 11 Sep. 2020 But when her old nemesis Lord Ballentine offers to hand it over in exchange for a night in bed with her, Lady Lucie fiercely declines, resulting in an ongoing clash between the two. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "All the new books you’ll want to read in September," 10 Sep. 2020 During the 40 days Rosales spent in sick and in bed, the hospital would not take him in, Miriam Rosales said. Natalia E. Contreras, The Indianapolis Star, "'They are struggling': Indianapolis' hard-hit Latino community demands action in pandemic," 10 Sep. 2020 Officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were dressed in plainclothes, and entered the residence as Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed. Fox News, "Attorney General Daniel Cameron presenting Breonna Taylor findings to grand jury," 9 Sep. 2020 Simply place the pillow into various positions to support key body areas and help your posture, whether sitting or sleeping in bed. Popular Science, "Save big this Labor Day weekend with epic sales on home goods," 7 Sep. 2020 In the closing scene, the actress-model-singer shared a kiss in bed with her daughter and husband before pulling down her blanket and lifting up her shirt to show her baby bump for the first time. Jen Juneau,, "Teyana Taylor and Husband Iman Shumpert Welcome Daughter — and She Was Born in Their Bathroom!," 7 Sep. 2020 Taylor had drifted off to sleep after watching a movie in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Breonna Taylor had big plans before police knocked down her door in deadly raid," 6 Sep. 2020 Of course, Mabel's snoring had the opposite effect of my daughter staying in bed, driving her out earlier and more often than usual. Steve Straessle, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | STEVE STRAESSLE: Not quite right," 5 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whether owing to the new zoo’s new owners or random negligence, one freezing night in 1936 Benjamin was locked out of his shelter by a closed door, forcing him to bed down on his enclosure’s concrete slab in the cold. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "‘New’ Footage of Benjamin, the Last Tasmanian Tiger Ever Seen Alive," 1 June 2020 Rarotonga, the Cooks’ most populous island, attracts a family crowd with a bustle of activities and choice of top-tier spots to bed down in, like the eco-friendly Nautilus Resort. Chloe Sachdev, Travel + Leisure, "Top 10 Islands in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific," 8 July 2020 Still, plenty of people have been wearing underwear to bed their whole lives and have never had a problem with itching or inflammation. Molly Longman,, "Wearing Underwear To Bed Might Be Bad For Your Vagina," 29 May 2020 These super soft staples from bedding brand Brooklinen, the ever-popular Lou + Grey sets, and this new breezy pajama set from Madewell and Parachute. 14. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "The 15 most popular things people bought in May," 1 June 2020 The potential for a wide discussion on the law would continue to focus attention on the role the central bank of the world’s second-largest economy, and follow an overhaul of the interest-rate system that’s still being bedded down., "China Plans to Revise Law Governing the Central Bank This Year," 26 May 2020 Like many patients currently in ICU beds all around the world, John has pneumonia in both lungs. Nicholas Rice,, "John Prine's Widow Fiona Whelan Prine Speaks Out: 'We Have No Words to Describe This Grief'," 8 Apr. 2020 Like many patients currently in ICU beds all around the world, John has pneumonia in both lungs. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Singer-songwriter John Prine, whose debut alone drew comparisons to Bob Dylan, dies from COVID-19," 8 Apr. 2020 Like many patients currently in ICU beds all around the world, John has pneumonia in both lungs. Nicholas Rice,, "John Prine's Widow Fiona Whelan Prine Speaks Out: 'We Have No Words to Describe This Grief'," 8 Apr. 2020

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.

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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.

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Time Traveler for bed

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bed

Last Updated

17 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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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

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