road·​bed | \ ˈrōd-ˌbed How to pronounce roadbed (audio) \

Definition of roadbed

1a : the bed on which the ties, rails, and ballast of a railroad rest
b : the ballast or the upper surface of the ballast on which the ties rest
2a : the earth foundation of a road prepared for surfacing
b : the part of the surface of a road traveled by vehicles

Examples of roadbed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The man was able to climb onto the platform from the roadbed and did not need medical assistance. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "NYPD makes arrest in latest 'subway shove' attack," 24 Nov. 2020 This led me to focus on an area where a roadbed intersected a canal—a highway that also looked to have a little more water depth. Kristine Fischer, Outdoor Life, "Kristine Fischer Caught Two 11-Pound Florida Bass in The Same Day. Here’s How She Did It," 12 Nov. 2020 It was rerouted to 143rd Street and the old roadbed was blocked off, albeit poorly. Paul Eisenberg,, "Landmarks: Ghosts haunt the remains of abandoned Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, but they’re not the kind you’d suspect," 25 Oct. 2020 In the middle of the night, metal rods would periodically poke up through the roadbed from somewhere below. Katherine Harmon Courage, Scientific American, "The First Subway in New York City Was a Cylindrical Car Pushed by Air," 18 Aug. 2020 In terms of people being able to go outside in their neighborhood and feel comfortable, feel safe in the roadbed, the slow streets are serving their purpose. John King,, "Oakland and SF’s ‘slow streets’ aren’t going away — that’s a good thing," 15 May 2020 The 40-minute train ride takes visitors along the shores of Mott Lake, a stretch of the historic Pere Marquette roadbed and then back into the heart of Crossroads Village. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "All aboard: Experience fall colors on these historic trains in Michigan," 11 Aug. 2019 After the storm, a $30-million emergency contract was established between Caltrans and Ames Construction to replace storm drains, rebuild slopes and roadbeds, repave roads and reinstall guardrails and signage, officials said. Alexa Díaz,, "Damaged by storms, a major highway to Idyllwild is closed for the summer," 27 June 2019 One sprayed a sticky black goo on the naked roadbed. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From potholes to perfect pavement: My neighborhood has lovely new streets," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'roadbed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of roadbed

1828, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about roadbed

Time Traveler for roadbed

Time Traveler

The first known use of roadbed was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Statistics for roadbed

Cite this Entry

“Roadbed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on roadbed Encyclopedia article about roadbed

Comments on roadbed

What made you want to look up roadbed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!