a. A piece of furniture for reclining and sleeping, typically consisting of a flat, rectangular frame and a mattress resting on springs.
b. A bedstead.
c. A mattress.
a. A place where one may sleep; lodging: found bed and board at an inn.
b. Accommodations for a single person at a hospital or institution: a maternity ward with 30 beds.
3. A time at which one goes to sleep: drank milk before bed.
4. A place for lovemaking.
5. A marital relationship with its rights and intimacies.
a. A small plot of cultivated or planted land: a flower bed.
b. An underwater or intertidal area in which a particular organism is established in large numbers: a clam bed; an oyster bed.
7. The ground surface below a body of water such as a sea, lake, or stream.
8. A supporting, underlying, or securing part, especially:
a. A layer of food surmounted by another kind of food: tomatoes on a bed of lettuce.
b. A foundation of crushed rock or a similar substance for a road or railroad; a roadbed.
c. A layer of mortar upon which stones or bricks are laid.
9. Printing The heavy table of a printing press in which the type form is placed.
10. The part of a truck, trailer, or freight car designed to carry loads.
a. A broad mass of rock or sediment bounded by different material.
b. A deposit, as of ore, parallel to local stratification.
12. A heap of material: a bed of wood chips.
v. bed·ded, bed·ding, beds
1. To furnish with a bed or sleeping quarters: We bedded our guests down in the study.
2. To put or send to bed.
3. To have sexual relations with.
4. To plant in a prepared plot of soil.
5. To lay flat or arrange in layers.
a. To embed.
b. To establish; base.
1. To go to bed.
2. Geology To form layers or strata.
get into bed with
Slang To become closely involved with another person or group, as in an intrigue: "The Israelis were experienced at this kind of [covert] ... work, but it was essential that the administration not get into bed with them on this" (Bob Woodward).
go to bed with
To have sexual relations with.
[Middle English, from Old English.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.