bed·​fel·​low ˈbed-ˌfe-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce bedfellow (audio)
: one who shares a bed with another
: 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 things
Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows and on the issue of local regulation of pesticides, environmental and states' rights advocates have joined forces.Elena S. Rutrick
Polities and good architecture are strange bedfellows, but in Barcelona the marriage has worked.Cathleen McGuigan

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 But as the process plays out in surreal time, a second dynamic, far less tectonic in nature but equally fascinating, is unfolding: The CFP contract negotiations have cast the Big 12 and the ACC as necessary partners, the strangest of bedfellows. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 3 Apr. 2024 Uncertainty and speed are scary bedfellows: 79% of Americans do not trust corporations to make responsible choices about implementing AI. Ann Kowal Smith, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 From Armani Hotels to Palazzo Versace, the fashion and hospitality worlds have long been amicable bedfellows. Angelina Villa-Clarke, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 And despite the strange bedfellows that support for the proposition garnered — including prominent Democrats, some Republican legislators, police unions and sheriff’s offices — the results align with polling before the election. Lindsey Holden, Sacramento Bee, 7 Mar. 2024 But one expert told Fox News Digital such events often bring together strange bedfellows. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 9 Mar. 2024 The cases are upending traditional party politics and inspiring odd bedfellows. Ann E. Marimow, Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2024 The First Amendment and the Second have forever been tricky, bickering bedfellows. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 14 Feb. 2024 Image: TransUnion The other strange bedfellow in the mix is Neustar, a company that maintains a central database of phone numbers in the US. Justine Calma, The Verge, 30 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near bedfellow

Cite this Entry

“Bedfellow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bed·​fel·​low ˈbed-ˌfel-ō How to pronounce bedfellow (audio)
: one who shares a bed with another
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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