\ 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: Verb But the bureau makes that determination based on a number of factors, including available bed space in its different facilities, Levine said. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Why Felicity Huffman’s 14-day sentence is ‘bad news’ for Lori Loughlin," 13 Sep. 2019 So Van Alen launched Sleepyhead in March 2018, with the goal of making icky dorm room bedding a little more tolerable and hygienic. Parija Kavilanz, CNN, "Dorm mattresses are notoriously uncomfortable. His startup aims to change that," 12 Sep. 2019 Under existing rules in Los Angeles, homeless people who bed down on the streets for the night are supposed to stay away fromdoorways and driveways. Los Angeles Times, "Many of L.A.’s sidewalks would be off-limits for homeless people to sleep if plan passes," 9 Sep. 2019 La Vecchia Signora are still bedding in after a busy summer which brought a new manager and a conveyor belt of exciting new signings., "This Weekend's 7 Must-Watch Games as Club Football Finally Returns," 12 Sep. 2019 Anyone else — namely, the homeless who bed down under the shade structures or in the wooded landscaping — is subject to arrest. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Newport police to restrict overnight access to bus station where homeless congregate," 11 Sep. 2019 The decision puts to bed a drawn-out fight between the county and Tri-City that began last year, when Tri-City shuttered its 18-bed inpatient behavioral health unit and its 12-person crisis stabilization unit. San Diego Union-Tribune, "County agrees to partner with Tri-City on new 16-bed psychiatric unit," 10 Sep. 2019 Atlas Obscura explains that households right up through Victorian times often bedded down together, both out of necessity and to foster community. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How a Sleep Divorce Can Improve Your Relationship," 29 Aug. 2019 Although the ideal planting season for planting hardy trees and shrubs is past, many heat tolerant vegetables, bedding plants, summer bulbs and tropicals can be planted now. Dan Gill,, "Plant for the butterflies and other garden tips for early May," 5 May 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.

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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 there are no grounds to believe that early Germanic or pre-Germanic peoples slept in pits.

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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

Cite this Entry

“Bed.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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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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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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