bed·​fel·​low | \ ˈbed-ˌfe-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce bedfellow (audio) \

Definition of bedfellow

1 : one who shares a bed with another
2 : a person or thing closely associated with another : ally political bedfellows often used in the phrase strange bedfellows to describe an unlikely alliance of people or thingsPolitics indeed makes strange bedfellows and on the issue of local regulation of pesticides, environmental and states' rights advocates have joined forces.— Elena S. RutrickPolities and good architecture are strange bedfellows, but in Barcelona the marriage has worked.— Cathleen McGuigan

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Examples of bedfellow in a Sentence

a child-welfare cause that has made bedfellows of activists who are normally on opposite ends of the political spectrum
Recent Examples on the Web Conservatism and right-wing populism are uncomfortable bedfellows. Andy Knott, Quartz, "Boris Johnson’s flirtation with populism will have lasting consequences for the UK," 4 Oct. 2019 Of the votes in its favor, only two were from Democrats, Wiener and his co-author—further proof that the housing debate involves some strange bedfellows. Nikil Saval, The New Yorker, "The Plight of the Urban Planner," 20 Nov. 2019 After all, two individuals with tricky schedules may not harmonious bedfellows make. Mallika Rao, The Atlantic, "Splitting Up—For the Night," 19 Nov. 2019 The Madkhalists make strange bedfellows of Mr Haftar, who claims to be fighting Islamist terror. The Economist, "The battle for Tripoli could be decided by the Madkhalis," 14 Nov. 2019 Those strange bedfellows have held townhalls, formed grassroots community campaigns, and lodged lawsuits against Kinder Morgan. Clarice Silber, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Unlikely alliance fighting pipeline in Texas Hill Country," 19 Oct. 2019 Making odd bedfellows of art from the last three centuries, Dodge’s light-handed canvases play fast and loose with expectations to invite us to see things differently. David Pagel, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Striped, dotted, zigzagged. The mind-scrambling painting of Tomory Dodge," 10 Oct. 2019 Previous SlideNext Slide Unhealthy food and games have been official bedfellows for decades, beyond the snacks that line your average video- or board-gaming marathon. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Indigestion, save ends: Wendy’s releases a massive D&D-style tabletop RPG," 3 Oct. 2019 Clean Virginia has also joined a statewide coalition, Virginia Energy Reform Coalition, that includes strange bedfellows, including Freedom Works, the conservative and libertarian advocacy group. Meaghan Winter, The New Republic, "How Energy Companies Corrupt State Politics," 19 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bedfellow.' 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 bedfellow

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for bedfellow

Time Traveler

The first known use of bedfellow was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bedfellow.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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How to pronounce bedfellow (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bedfellow

: a person or thing that is associated or connected with another

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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