View synonyms for bed



[ bed ]


  1. a piece of furniture upon which or within which a person sleeps, rests, or stays when not well.
  2. the mattress and bedclothes together with the bedstead of a bed.
  3. the bedstead alone.
  4. the act of or time for sleeping:

    Now for a cup of cocoa and then bed.

  5. the use of a bed for the night; lodging:

    I reserved a bed at the old inn.

  6. the marital relationship.
  7. any resting place:

    making his bed under a tree.

  8. something resembling a bed in form or position.
  9. a piece or area of ground in a garden or lawn in which plants are grown.
  10. an area in a greenhouse in which plants are grown.
  11. the plants in such areas.
  12. the bottom of a lake, river, sea, or other body of water.
  13. a piece or part forming a foundation or base.
  14. a layer of rock; a stratum.

    Synonyms: deposit, lode, seam, stratification

  15. a foundation surface of earth or rock supporting a track, pavement, or the like:

    a gravel bed for the roadway.

  16. Building Trades.
    1. the underside of a stone, brick, slate, tile, etc., laid in position.
    2. the upper side of a stone laid in position.
    3. the layer of mortar in which a brick, stone, etc., is laid.
    4. the natural stratification of a stone:

      a stone laid on bed.

  17. Furniture. skirt ( def 6b ).
  18. the flat surface in a printing press on which the form of type is laid.
  19. Transportation. the body or, sometimes, the floor or bottom of a truck or trailer.
  20. Chemistry. a compact mass of a substance functioning in a reaction as a catalyst or reactant.
  21. Sports.
    1. the canvas surface of a trampoline.
    2. the smooth, wooden floor of a bowling alley.
    3. the slate surface of a billiard table to which the cloth is fastened.
  22. Zoology. flesh enveloping the base of a claw, especially the germinative layer beneath the claw.
  23. Also called mock,. Shipbuilding. a shaped steel pattern upon which furnaced plates for the hull of a vessel are hammered to shape.

verb (used with object)

, bed·ded, bed·ding.
  1. to provide with a bed.
  2. to put to bed.
  3. Horticulture. to plant in or as in a bed.
  4. to lay flat.
  5. to place in a bed or layer:

    to bed oysters.

  6. to embed, as in a substance:

    bedding the flagstones in concrete.

  7. to take or accompany to bed for purposes of sexual intercourse.

verb (used without object)

, bed·ded, bed·ding.
  1. to have sleeping accommodations:

    He says we can bed there for the night.

  2. Geology. to form a compact layer or stratum.
  3. (of a metal structural part) to lie flat or close against another part.
  4. Archaic. to go to bed.

verb phrase

    1. to make a bed for (a person, animal, etc.).
    2. to retire to bed:

      They put out the fire and decided to bed down for the night.



abbreviation for

  1. Bachelor of Education.



abbreviation for

  1. Bachelor of Education



/ bɛd /


  1. a piece of furniture on which to sleep
  2. the mattress and bedclothes on such a piece of furniture

    an unmade bed

  3. sleep or rest

    time for bed

  4. any place in which a person or animal sleeps or rests
  5. med a unit of potential occupancy in a hospital or residential institution
  6. informal.
    a place for sexual intercourse
  7. informal.
    sexual intercourse
  8. a plot of ground in which plants are grown, esp when considered together with the plants in it

    a flower bed

  9. the bottom of a river, lake, or sea
  10. a part of this used for cultivation of a plant or animal

    oyster beds

  11. a layer of crushed rock, gravel, etc, used as a foundation for a road, railway, etc
  12. a layer of mortar in a masonry wall
  13. the underside of a brick, tile, slate, etc, when in position Compare back 1
  14. any underlying structure or part
  15. a layer of rock, esp sedimentary rock
  16. the flat part of a letterpress printing press onto or against which the type forme is placed
  17. a layer of solid particles of an absorbent, catalyst, or reagent through which a fluid is passed during the course of a chemical reaction or other process
  18. a machine base on which a moving part carrying a tool or workpiece slides

    lathe bed

  19. a bed of roses
    a situation of comfort or ease
  20. to be brought to bed archaic.
    to give birth (to)
  21. bed of nails
    1. a situation or position of extreme difficulty
    2. a bed studded with nails on which a fakir lies
  22. get out of bed on the wrong side informal.
    to be ill-tempered from the start of the day
  23. go to bed
    1. often foll by with to have sexual intercourse (with)
    2. journalism printing (of a newspaper, magazine, etc) to go to press; start printing
  24. in bed with informal.
    cooperating closely with (another person, organization, government, etc.) esp covertly
  25. put to bed
    1. journalism to finalize work on (a newspaper, magazine, etc) so that it is ready to go to press
    2. printing to lock up the type forme of (a publication) in the press before printing
  26. take to one's bed
    to remain in bed, esp because of illness


  1. usually foll by down to go to or put into a place to sleep or rest
  2. tr to have sexual intercourse with
  3. tr to place, fix, or sink firmly into position; embed
  4. geology to form or be arranged in a distinct layer; stratify
  5. troften foll byout to plant in a bed of soil


/ bĕd /

  1. A layer of sediments or rock, such as coal, that extends under a large area and has a distinct set of characteristics that distinguish it from other layers below and above it.
  2. The bottom of a body of water, such as a lake, stream, or ocean.

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Other Words From

  • bedless adjective
  • bedlike adjective
  • inter·bed adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bed1

First recorded before 1000; Middle English; Old English bedd; cognate with Old Frisian, Dutch bed, Old Saxon bed(de), Old High German betti ( German Bett ), Gothic badi, from unattested Germanic badjan (neuter); akin to Latin fodere “to dig,” Old Church Slavonic bodǫ, Lithuanian bedù “I pierce,” Welsh bedd “a grave”; presumably a bed was dug out in the ground

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bed1

Old English bedd ; related to Old Norse bethr , Old High German betti , Gothic badi

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. get up on the wrong side of the bed, to be irritable or bad-tempered from the start of a day:

    Never try to reason with him when he's gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

  2. go to bed with, to have sexual intercourse with.
  3. go to bed,
    1. to retire, especially for the night.
    2. to engage in sexual relations.
  4. in bed,
    1. beneath the covers of a bed.
    2. engaged in sexual intercourse.
  5. jump / get into bed with, to form a close, often temporary, alliance, usually with an unlikely ally:

    Industry was charged with jumping into bed with labor on the issue.

  6. make a bed, to fit a bed with sheets and blankets.
  7. make one's bed, to be responsible for one's own actions and their results:

    You've made your bed—now lie in it.

  8. put to bed,
    1. to help (a child, invalid, etc.) go to bed.
    2. Printing. to lock up (forms) in a press in preparation for printing.
    3. to work on the preparation of (an edition of a newspaper, periodical, etc.) up to the time of going to press.

More idioms and phrases containing bed

  • early to bed
  • get up on the wrong side of bed
  • go to bed with
  • make one's bed and lie in it
  • make the bed
  • put to bed
  • should have stood in bed
  • strange bedfellows

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Example Sentences

At night it flips over to reveal a true foam-mattress backside and create a 42-by-72-inch bed.

So sign up for a community garden space, turn over a backyard bed, or mount some planting boxes on your windows and get going.

At his bed and breakfast in southern Sweden, Carlsson used to rotate porridge duties with two friends, and guests always complimented their meals on days when he cooked.

From Eater

A wall separated the office space from his bed around the corner.

For a-la-carte under bed storage, or bags that can move between beds, closets, and beyond, Dokehom has you covered.

My doctor insisted that once I filed this piece I lie down on my bed and not get out.

I fall back into a dream and then suddenly there is a tapping on the window just above my bed.

The distinction between over-policing and non-responsiveness was alive and well in Bed-Stuy.

At Woodhull Hospital, the Bed-Stuy ambulance crew kept doing all they could as they wheeled Ramos into the emergency room.

While violent offenses are dramatically down in Bed Stuy, pockets of violence persist here.

She sat straight up in bed, and jerked her hands to her head, and screamed long and terribly.

The embankment or road-bed was commenced by gigantic piling, and is very broad and substantial.

Gaze not upon another man's wife, and be not inquisitive after his handmaid, and approach not her bed.

A little boy had been quarrelling with his sister named Muriel just before going to bed.

She folded them tightly in a handkerchief, and thrust the parcel as far as her arm could reach between the mattress and the bed.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.