\ 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
4 : layer, stratum
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 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


bedded; bedding

Definition of bed (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : 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

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 Between rustic coffee tables with hidden storage and contemporary bed frames with USB ports, there are a whole host of home items designed with convenience in mind, too. Isabel Garcia,, 14 Sep. 2021 That is because cases were rising to several hundred each day after an earlier relaxing of some restrictions, raising fears of a hospital-bed shortage. WSJ, 14 Sep. 2021 According to data from the Health Collaborative, which tracks daily bed counts at more than 40 hospitals, the number of COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospital and intensive care beds remains on an upward trajectory. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 According to data from the Health Collaborative, which tracks daily bed counts at more than 40 hospitals, the number of COVID-19 patients in the region's hospital and ICU beds remains on an upward trajectory. Kevin Grasha, The Enquirer, 14 Sep. 2021 Unlike the bright nylon pop-up tunnels or basic beds, this 18-inch elevated cat bed won't look out of place in your living room. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Sep. 2021 Nearly every detail, from the woody scent infusing the air by Maak Lab to the Pendleton bed pillows, nods to Portland and the design throughout — especially the lobby with velvet green sofas, modern art, and swinging settee — is positively pretty. Katie Chang, Travel + Leisure, 13 Sep. 2021 Munkarah said most of the bed closures are in the Detroit and Jackson campuses, in general practice units and a few intensive care beds. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 13 Sep. 2021 For three nights, Casper helped the new parents in their two-bed room at Tufts, where Norden, who lost his right leg above the knee in the bombing, remained as a constant, reassuring presence., 13 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Or make a reservation to bed down at the Glacier Point Ski Hut, a roughly ten-mile ski or snowshoe from Badger Pass. Shawnté Salabert, Outside Online, 22 Feb. 2021 Chacon—and many other gunsmiths—will bed a Ruger 10/22 for $100-$150, which is a helluva deal. Michael R. Shea, Field & Stream, 22 Feb. 2021 Big bucks are more solitary, and often bed away from other deer in dense cover. Jason Tome, Outdoor Life, 17 Feb. 2021 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, 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, 8 July 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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Dictionary Entries Near bed




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Statistics for bed

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for bed



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)

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on bed

Nglish: Translation of bed for Spanish Speakers

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


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