bed

1 of 4

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 4

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 4

abbreviation (1)

bachelor of education

BED

4 of 4

abbreviation (2)

binge eating disorder
More than seven million Americans struggle with binge eating disorder (BED), according to a recent Harvard-based study …Naomi Barr
BED is characterized by eating alone, more rapidly than normal, continuing to eat even though you're full and eating when you're not really hungry.New Hampshire Sunday News
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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In all, the shelter would cost the city more than $1.1 billion over the next 35 years, roughly $2,700 per month per bed over the life of the lease. Jeff McDonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Apr. 2024 On those service days and throughout the school year classes of students have taken turns picking up trash, raking and weeding beds, working in food pantries, helping at elementary schools and local nursing homes, and building wooden bird feeders and yard sets of dominoes. Cynthia Howell, arkansasonline.com, 14 Apr. 2024 In the absence of available affordable housing and shelter beds, other California cities are eyeing sanctioned encampments. Calmatters, The Mercury News, 12 Apr. 2024 It’s also been reported that the range can plunge to just 200 miles without the beds tonneau cover. Lawrence Hodge / Jalopnik, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2024 That said, all rooms and suites have been meticulously renovated and feature contemporary comforts like big beds and Nespresso machines, with options for balconies, kitchenettes, and luxurious bathrooms with soaking tubs. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 11 Apr. 2024 Six months after that, on Jan. 17, 1994, we were shaken from our beds by the terrifying early morning 6.7 Northridge earthquake. Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 11 Apr. 2024 There are over 2,600 people on the waiting list for a shelter bed, and an additional 666 families, according to a recent city report. Theresa Clift, Sacramento Bee, 11 Apr. 2024 In preparation for the summer months, the city of Phoenix is currently constructing 790 new shelter beds and earlier this month the City Council went over plans to extend library hours to offer overnight respite and other preventative efforts. Sarah Lapidus, The Arizona Republic, 2 Apr. 2024
Verb
Schwartz's grows produce and bedding plants, and have a selection of annuals, perennials and gardening supplies. Jalen Williams, Detroit Free Press, 15 Apr. 2024 This guy is now just a seductive con artist, a genius with a knack for pulling off sophisticated deceptions and bedding beautiful women. Alissa Wilkinson, New York Times, 8 Apr. 2024 However, Conscious Corner has already started to make a name for itself by selling premium quality bamboo bedding products. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 3 Apr. 2024 Brooklinen offered one of the best deals during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and now the cult-favorite bedding brand will kick off a second (and third) round of deals to kick off spring. Anna Tingley, Variety, 26 Mar. 2024 Zinus Surprise, surprise: Amazon has a number of mattress sales, including popular Zinus bedding brand. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 17 Feb. 2024 They’d been housed in cages that were too small and didn’t have bedding; none of the enclosures contained food or water, the complaint said. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, 29 Jan. 2024 The rest comes in four standard bedding sizes: twin, twin XL, full, and queen. Sophia Beams, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Mar. 2024 Keep scrolling to check out some of our favorites, from bedding to organizers, electric spin scrubbers, kitchen gadgets, and more. Stephanie Osmanski, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 22 Apr. 2024.

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

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