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  1. confined to bed because of illness, injury, etc.

Origin of bedridden

1300–50; Middle English, variant (by confusion with past participle of ride) of bedrid
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bedridden


  1. confined to bed because of illness, esp for a long or indefinite period

Word Origin

Old English bedreda, from bedd bed + -rida rider, from rīdan to ride
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bedridden


also bed-ridden, mid-14c., from adjectival use of late Old English bæddrædæn "bedridden (man)," from bedrid, from Old English bedreda, literally "bedrider, bedridden (man)," from bed + rida "rider" (see ride (v.)). Originally a noun, it became an adjective in Middle English and acquired an -en on the analogy of past participle adjectives from strong verbs such as ride.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bedridden in Medicine


  1. Confined to bed because of illness or infirmity.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.