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 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. 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

The rebellion against Johnson created the oddest of political bedfellows: The opposition Labor Party joined forces with some of the most old-line, traditional members of the prime minister’s party to stand against him. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, "Defying Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.K. lawmakers pass bill to block no-deal Brexit," 4 Sep. 2019 The 5-Star Movement and the Democratic Party are unlikely bedfellows and were until Thursday political rivals used to trading insults and barbs. NBC News, "Salvini's power grab backfires as Italy inches toward new government," 29 Aug. 2019 Strange bedfellows The effort to change the conversation around portion control came from within the food industry. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "A new nutrition group aims to erase the link between value and massive portions," 25 Aug. 2019 But President Donald Trump—and, seemingly, politicians across the entire political spectrum—have the biopharma industry in their sights, and the issue has made for some strange bedfellows. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Can Canada Help Fix America’s High Drug Price Problem?—Brainstorm Health," 31 July 2019 And that’s creating some strange bedfellows as legislators fight over Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s line-item budget vetoes. Author: Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "PFD fight splits Alaska Republicans, leaving some aligned with Democrats," 12 July 2019 Its passage resulted in some strange ideological bedfellows. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Why the House plans to pass a bipartisan bill repealing a controversial Obamacare tax," 17 July 2019 Perhaps that’s why hypnotherapy has found an unlikely bedfellow in gastrointestinal diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, which it has been proven to help ease. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "Can Hypnotherapy Actually Help Treat Pain and Anxiety?," 21 June 2019 How user agreements play out at the hospital As noted at the start, the right to repair battle has brought together strange bedfellows—consumer tech and ag manufacturers aren’t the only ones rallying against such legislation. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Hackers, farmers, and doctors unite! Support for Right to Repair laws slowly grows," 20 June 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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Statistics for bedfellow

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for bedfellow

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

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English Language Learners Definition of bedfellow

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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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