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See more synonyms for bedfellow on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called bedmate. a person who shares one's bed.
  2. an associate or collaborator, especially one who forms a temporary alliance for reasons of expediency: Politics makes strange bedfellows.
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Origin of bedfellow

First recorded in 1400–50, bedfellow is from the late Middle English word bedfelow. See bed, fellow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for bedfellow

Historical Examples

  • My cousin Jenny Fynnett is here, and desires to be my bedfellow to-night.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • We were afraid of awakening her bedfellow, and kept perfect silence.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • I had exchanged my brother John as a bedfellow for Walter Packard.

  • At length the elder brother wearied of this diversion and aroused his bedfellow.


    Maurus Jokai

  • The next moment his bedfellow was "covered" with two "guns."

British Dictionary definitions for bedfellow


  1. a person with whom one shares a bed
  2. a temporary ally or associate
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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

Word Origin and History for bedfellow


"close friend, roommate," mid-15c., from bed (n.) + fellow (n.). Also (late 15c) "concubine." Earlier in the "close companion" sense was bed-fere (early 14c.). Bedsister "husband's concubine" is recorded in Middle English (c.1300).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper