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bed and board

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noun
  1. living quarters and meals: In this school students must pay by the week for bed and board.
  2. one's home regarded as exemplifying the obligations of marriage: He said he would not be responsible for her debts after she left his bed and board.
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Origin of bed and board

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50

bed board

or bed·board

noun
  1. a thin, rigid board placed between a mattress and bedspring to give firm support.
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Origin of bed board

First recorded in 1675–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bed board

Historical Examples

  • Find og Vendelrod,' Grundtvig, No 275, has even the talking blanket (sometimes misunderstood to be a bed-board).

    The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (Volume I of 5)

    Various

  • The hand must be at rest, carried in a sling during the day and slung over the head to the bed-board at night.


British Dictionary definitions for bed board

bed and board

noun
  1. sleeping accommodation and meals
  2. divorce from bed and board US law a form of divorce whereby the parties are prohibited from living together but the marriage is not dissolved
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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

Idioms and Phrases with bed board

bed and board

Lodging and meals, as in Housekeepers usually earn a standard salary in addition to bed and board. This phrase was first recorded in the York Manual (c. 1403), which stipulated certain connubial duties: “Her I take ... to be my wedded wife, to hold to have at bed and at board.” Later bed was used merely to denote a place to sleep.

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