\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun My brain, hardly a high-performance machine on its best days, had turned to porridge, and I was easily fatigued, which often forced me to stretch out in bed like Boris Yeltsin lying in state. Mark Shanahan,, 6 May 2022 Sheila Borkar, a 30-year-old transportation engineer who also lives in Washington, took a pill before bed and woke up to the taste. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, 5 May 2022 My mother is a devout believer, one who kneels to pray before bed every night and hums Chinese hymns around our house. Belinda Huijuan Tang, Vogue, 5 May 2022 When dealing with insomnia in general, Dr. Conroy says that one strategy is to set aside a winddown time one hour before bed. Allure, 5 May 2022 Then, as a new day begins, the wife’s eyes open in bed and begin gazing around the ceiling, where Noé's camera is perched. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 The new The Talk UK host, 69, shared a photo of her smiling in bed with one arm connected to an IV. Charmaine Patterson,, 4 May 2022 Light and fresh, natureofthings’ Rejuvenating Overnight Facial Mask is designed to be applied before bed and left overnight to allow its ingredients to penetrate more effectively. Angela Lei, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Loro Piana’s Petite Amal dressing gown, in seasonally appropriate lilac-purple linen, works well for working from home or breakfast in bed. Lizzy Wholley, WSJ, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Visitors without sails to sleep under can bed down in atmospheric pensions like Opoa Beach Hotel, with just nine bungalows fronting a stunning beach on the island's southeast corner. Terry Ward, Travel + Leisure, 28 Mar. 2022 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 See More

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.

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

be cut up about



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Statistics for bed

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bed


\ 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

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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