Main definitions of bed in English

: bed1BEd2

bed1

noun

  • 1A piece of furniture for sleep or rest, typically a framework with a mattress and coverings.

    ‘a large double bed’
    ‘she was in bed by nine’
    ‘getting out of bed is a real struggle’
    • ‘It wasn't that late, but she was tired and felt like curling up in bed and going to sleep.’
    • ‘You name it, they transport it on the back of their bicycle - animals, sofas, beds, car parts, other bicycles.’
    • ‘If it takes longer than 20 or 30 minutes to get to sleep, do not lie in bed becoming anxious about sleeping.’
    • ‘I just don't enjoy leaping out of bed and into a pile of my sisters old smelly socks.’
    • ‘The alarm frightened the sleep out of me; I dragged myself out of bed, and got my guests into the car.’
    • ‘There are 20 bedrooms, each furnished with antiques and extremely comfortable beds.’
    • ‘Many of these fires happen when someone falls asleep in bed or on upholstered furniture such as a sofa while smoking.’
    • ‘There's a living room downstairs, a bedroom with three single beds and a bunk bed with upper and lower berths, a bathroom, and the kitchen area.’
    • ‘When she was convinced her parents were asleep, she slipped out of bed and dressed herself.’
    • ‘If your pain is severe, your doctor may suggest that you rest in bed for a day or two.’
    • ‘I have a small cell with a single bed, and there's a sink, a bookshelf, a little stool and somewhere to store underclothes.’
    • ‘A couple of stuffed animals and her guitar laid peacefully on the bed with a note attached.’
    • ‘The bed was the largest piece of furniture in the room and stood against the south wall, opposite the door.’
    • ‘There certainly wasn't enough space in my room for anything larger than a single bed.’
    • ‘To help keep a child in bed while settling to sleep, try story tapes, or books they can read to themselves.’
    • ‘The walls were all white and the only items inside were a bed, cabinet, desk, and chair.’
    • ‘I was going to go back to bed this morning but I didn't feel tired.’
    • ‘Not wanting to go back to sleep, she slipped out of bed, and walked down the stairs to the kitchen.’
    • ‘The bed was made neatly, and a few articles of clothing were strewn across the floor.’
    • ‘There is no specific treatment for measles but the patient should rest in bed for a few days and be given plenty to drink.’
    couch, berth, billet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A bed and associated facilities making up a place for a patient in a hospital or for a guest at a hotel.
      ‘a round of hospital staff layoffs and bed closings’
      ‘few can afford a bed in a hotel’
      • ‘Hospitals found guilty of bad management and keeping patients in beds too long have been hit with fines totalling €6.4 million.’
      • ‘For night after night she slept in a chair by his hospital bed, refusing to leave his side.’
      • ‘‘The targets have meant hospitals pushing patients through beds even when they should be closed for cleaning to get rid of infection,’ he said.’
      • ‘Nurses working for the Auckland Mental Health Service are refusing to admit patients unless hospitals have beds and staff available.’
      • ‘In a bid to improve services and free up much needed emergency beds, the foundations of a new treatment centre have been laid at Darent Valley Hospital.’
      • ‘This was not due to lack of trying but due to a health service that has failed us, a minister that has done little to help and a hospital that has insufficient beds and staff.’
      • ‘In Edinburgh, 200 of the 2000 acute hospital beds are blocked with patients who do not need to be there.’
      • ‘Staff at Hemel Hempstead General Hospital yesterday set aside extra beds and intensive care facilities for anyone suffering complications as a result of the smoke hanging over the area.’
      • ‘Last Wednesday, Bedford Hospital reached crisis point when beds ran short and patients kept arriving.’
      • ‘It has been blamed on a rise in emergency admissions and a heavy workload, which means patients are transferred from beds, wards and hospitals quickly.’
      • ‘A South Essex psychiatric hospital is to get 12 extra beds for patients who have been treated at high-security institutions like Broadmoor.’
      • ‘The organisation has begun to release daily figures which show that an average of 200 patients are left lying on hospital trolleys waiting for beds.’
      • ‘In an average week, four patients are blocking hospital beds because they can not be moved elsewhere.’
      • ‘Ambulances will also cease to bring patients to the A & E unit at the hospital if there are more than 25 patients awaiting beds.’
      • ‘Ms Harney said she would target A & E units and step-down facilities for elderly patients in acute beds.’
      • ‘An East Yorkshire hospital is down to its last five free beds as adult patients are forced to use a children's ward.’
      • ‘Elderly patients stuck in hospital beds because of a care crisis will be moved by next month, York's head of social services has promised.’
      • ‘No sick patient in a hospital bed wants to hear his nurse tell him she once had a much worse time than he is suffering now.’
      • ‘He said he recognised that acute hospitals had beds occupied by patients who could be discharged if appropriate facilities were available.’
      • ‘All of the hospital's 54 beds will close by early February and its patients will be transferred elsewhere.’
    2. 1.2 A place or article used by a person or animal for sleep or rest.
      ‘a bed of straw’
      • ‘David had made a bed on the floor, of my spare duvet and a sleeping bag he had found among his personal effects.’
      • ‘They were lying together wrapped in warm furs on a bed of fresh yellow straw, inside a tent.’
      • ‘Mats or leaves generally serve as beds, and cooking is done on open fires near the huts.’
      • ‘He gestured to the largest room the inn maintained, containing three, hard, straw beds.’
      • ‘Mel and the boys made their beds in their Transit van and toured the pubs and clubs of southern England.’
      • ‘He walks outside and heads for the barn where he finds Stuart and Nick hard at work forking new hay for the animals' beds.’
      • ‘There the Colonel lives in a single room with a dirt floor and a straw bed.’
      • ‘Taking several steps forward, she saw a strong wooden box sitting on her straw bed.’
      • ‘I pushed past him into the small room and set the child down on the circular bed of animal furs as gently as possible.’
      • ‘The floor was beaten earth; the bed was of straw, hides or a rude contrivance of cords tied on posts.’
      • ‘Often enough, some of them could not make the trip home and ended up spending the night in make-shift beds at my daughter's flat.’
      • ‘Banana leaves laid on the dirt floor serve as beds for visitors.’
      • ‘Living in a bare floored, unheated cell with a bed of straw, she spent her days rising at 5.00 am.’
      • ‘Life is austere and, as his fellow workers do, he makes and sleeps in a straw bed.’
      • ‘Hannah yanked a pair of khaki capris from under the dog that had made a bed in one the many piles of clothes.’
      • ‘Prisoners describe the cells as five by 10 metres, with a large bucket serving as a toilet in the corner of each cell and blankets for beds.’
      • ‘He saw his mother lying pathetically on a pile of blankets serving as a makeshift bed.’
      • ‘Before him was a very messily thrown-together bed of a pile of leaves with a sheet spread over it.’
      • ‘Few people who drive past the farm fail to smile at the sight of the sows rolling around in the mud, or lolling, sunbathing, on deep beds of straw.’
      • ‘A straw bed stood boldly in the center with an oil lamp on a simple stand to the right.’
    3. 1.3 The time for sleeping.
      ‘a glass of milk before bed’
      • ‘Each night before bed Eusebio tackles a ritual, signing a pile of photographs to hand out to his adoring public the following day.’
      • ‘She does well with her routine, bed at 7pm generally sleeping through to 5am.’
      • ‘It wasn't even time for bed, but I wanted to just sleep all this pain away until there was no more.’
      • ‘I had spent a wonderful day at the London Aquarium but it was finally time for bed so I curled up and went to sleep.’
      • ‘Around eight in 10 who ate 20g of Stilton before bed had bizarre visions in their sleep.’
      • ‘He gave her a kiss on the forehead, almost like one she may have received before bed from her mother as a child.’
    4. 1.4informal Used with reference to a bed as the typical place for sexual activity.
      ‘she'd gone to bed with Tony’
      ‘some men care very little about pleasing their partners in bed’
      • ‘I didn't go to bed with him when he asked me because I was too tired to have sex after the amazing weekend with my lover.’
      • ‘Here is a lovely guy who is kind, generous and good to me and who is great in bed and I am telling him to back off - why?’
      • ‘He was putting on a show at the Edinburgh Festival and asked me to join the group and then, consequently, got the girl into bed.’
      • ‘She also says that any man who's obsessed with football is terrible in bed.’
      • ‘Remember lieutenant, the quickest way to a girl's bed is through her parents.’
      • ‘I'm pretty good in bed if I do say so myself.’
      • ‘She and Austin had been married for two whole months, but he had yet to take her to bed and make love with her.’
      • ‘In my whole life I had never been to bed with someone without having had a drink.’
  • 2The bottom of the sea or a lake or river.

    ‘the gravelly bed of the stream’
    • ‘Many goby species are found on sandy or muddy sea beds, but the rock goby, as the name implies, prefers rocky ground, and will usually be found peering out from a crevice or hole.’
    • ‘There has obviously been little rain here for a long time and the river bed is virtually dry.’
    • ‘Sediments on lake bottoms and sea beds are far richer in biomarker molecules than we might suspect.’
    • ‘The lads are covering a total distance of 144 miles, across sand, stones, mountains, dried lakes, river beds and dunes.’
    • ‘The female then moves upstream and covers the eggs with more gravel so that they are buried deep within the bed of the river.’
    • ‘Environment officials fear that concentrations of heavy metals primarily lead, copper, and zinc in the beds of the affected rivers could work their way into the food chain.’
    • ‘As a result of continuous mining of sand, the river bed is three metres below the sea level.’
    • ‘Some say they were found by locals on the bed of a river, others in an unidentified cave.’
    • ‘A mystery remains, however, over the way features resembling flood plains, river beds and gorges were created on Mars.’
    • ‘Over a number of weeks a trench was excavated in the river bed on each side of the estuary.’
    • ‘With its river beds, attractive hill ridges and stunning mountains, it provides city dwellers access to nature right on their doorstep.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Elkenback and his crew spotted the fourth truck in the stream bed to the north.’
    • ‘The terrain changes completely as we ride into the Moon Valley and onto the dry bed of the Swakop River.’
    • ‘The muddy bed of the river is littered with boulders, but not ones that have arrived by geological forces.’
    • ‘After lunch we would trail around the neighbourhood which involved a lot of exploring of stream beds and ponds and railways.’
    • ‘We began the first seismic line on day two with an uphill washed-out creek bed of a trail.’
    • ‘The little silvery streams criss-crossing the river bed are enough for them to eke out a living.’
    • ‘From its station near the bed of the river, it surges up to snatch at smaller fish foolish enough to swim through its field of vision.’
    • ‘The water flowed over the rocks in the stream bed, and as it flowed, it seemed to sing.’
    • ‘Sponges are a plant-like sea animal which are harvested from the ocean bed.’
    bottom, floor, ground, depths
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A place on the seabed where shellfish, especially oysters or mussels, breed or are bred.
      ‘vast beds of oysters’
      • ‘They winter in open, coastal environments, favoring bays and inlets with sandy shores and shellfish beds.’
      • ‘The mussel beds have to be maintained during the growing period.’
      • ‘The island has an untouched oyster bed while the general area has mussel and cockle beds.’
      • ‘The tide was out, further out than I had seen for a very long time, revealing an expanse of mud and mussel beds.’
      • ‘Large mussel beds are also common in many areas.’
      • ‘Oyster beds can really get messed up by a big storm coming through.’
      • ‘Oyster beds where young oysters are matured are as carefully looked after today as are game preserves.’
      • ‘After the island came a long beach stroll; oystercatchers plundered the mussel beds and crows feasted on small crabs.’
      • ‘The usual lot were there on the mussel beds, and in the channel, a seal was having a tough time disposing of quite a large salmon.’
      • ‘Even valuable shellfish beds around the coast are in danger because the Government has not implemented proper programmes to reduce pollution.’
      • ‘Possibly, wanderlust could have played a role, following herds up into the Middle East or following the shell fish beds out into the Arabian peninsular and on into India.’
      • ‘Terns and eiders had been disturbed, while eiders had been doubly hit because the pickers were depleting the mussel beds on which they feed.’
      • ‘Adjacent clumps of mussels coalesced to form extensive beds, which then served as a secondary substrate for other algal species and associated fauna.’
      • ‘It was dry at low tide and filled quickly as the tide came in, the sides of the bay were stony and the bay itself was sandy with large mussel beds.’
      • ‘At first glance there seemed to be nothing on the mussel beds, but closer inspection revealed a few Curlews, and about 100 Golden Plovers.’
      • ‘Not only was it the same colour as the mussel bed, but it had an assortment of tiny shell fragments all over its body.’
      • ‘The development of sewage systems by Victorian engineers meant human effluent was discharged into the sea, contaminating many shellfish beds.’
      • ‘Horse mussel beds create a habitat for about 100 other species, but they are being destroyed by scallop dredging.’
      • ‘Some areas are covered with thick juvenile mussel beds on which abundant starfish graze.’
      • ‘The reef peters out in 25m or so on a dark, sandy seabed where there is a healthy scallop bed.’
  • 3An area of ground, typically in a garden, where flowers and plants are grown.

    ‘a bed of tulips’
    ‘vegetable beds’
    • ‘This versatile plant serves the gardener well in beds and borders.’
    • ‘They brighten woodland gardens and perennial beds, and are useful container plants.’
    • ‘Gardeners who have recently moved almost always welcome new plants to fill empty beds.’
    • ‘Therefore, roses are generally most successful if grown in beds away from large plants.’
    • ‘Most home gardeners now opt for planting in beds rather than rows.’
    • ‘Outside, the landscaped gardens have water features, rose beds and garden seats.’
    • ‘Apply general garden fertiliser to beds and borders and lightly work it into the soil surface.’
    • ‘Five raised beds in the final design represent the five senses and each class in the school has a bed to fill.’
    • ‘Over the years it has been developed, with the creation of borders and central beds filled with flowers, plants, shrubs and trees.’
    • ‘Raised beds make gardening possible on sites where growing plants would otherwise be impossible.’
    • ‘The first step to getting the best from your berries is to straw the bed.’
    • ‘Scented geraniums are undemanding creatures, easy to grow outdoors in garden beds and patio containers or indoors on a sunny windowsill.’
    • ‘Along with a scent, summer bulbs offer a refreshing variety of colors and textures to enrich the border and beds of any summer garden.’
    • ‘The best camellias are usually grown in beds or in areas where the soil and surroundings offer a friendly home for them.’
    • ‘The playground, with a maypole and little roundabouts, and raised beds where children could grow vegetables and flowers, was vitally important.’
    • ‘As soon as the ground can be worked, dig or till compost or other organic matter into the soil to prepare flower and vegetable beds for spring planting.’
    • ‘Cover any bare soil areas within your beds with a bark or wood chip mulch.’
    • ‘Chickens roam freely between beds of flowers and vegetables.’
    • ‘With Ceres as an inspiration and while the sun shines down, all I want to do is potter around in the garden and start great beds of lush healthy plants.’
    • ‘An avid gardener, she planted beds with hardy perennials.’
    patch, plot, area, lot, space, border, strip, row
    View synonyms
  • 4A stratum or layer of rock.

    ‘a bed of clay’
    • ‘The underlying Dosados sandstone member, 80 m below, is the source bed for the intrusions.’
    • ‘The intercalated sedimentary beds were deposited on the tops of basaltic lava flows during periods of volcanic inactivity.’
    • ‘The sandstone beds have sharp bases, fine upwards, and have rippled tops.’
    • ‘Ash layers are generally interleaved with beds of lava and sediment, and so a rock that contains such a layer was formed at approximately the time of the ash deposition.’
    • ‘The fossiliferous beds at Felsoors have been studied for over 130 years.’
    • ‘Sandstone beds within the conglomerates are locally planar cross-bedded.’
    • ‘Recognizable Ediacaran fossils are concentrated at the base of graded beds and are generally deformed bodies cast in erosional scours.’
    • ‘The burrows are common below omission surfaces and erosion structures at the base of limestone beds.’
    • ‘The vivianite occurs in dark brown and dark gray beds of glacial silt and clay.’
    • ‘The quartz here was in flat-lying beds just below the surface.’
    • ‘Passages tend to run parallel to the strata because there are very few joints and they rarely intersect more than one bed.’
    • ‘Offset by the blue of sky, the massive beds of rock stand out in surprising colours.’
    • ‘Within the Wessex Formation there are two beds of potential stratigraphic significance.’
    • ‘In the upper unit, flat-lying carbonate beds alternate with sands.’
    • ‘Some of the sandstone beds are c.1.5 m thick with some cross bedding and burrows.’
    • ‘The development of Skolithos trace fossils on the upper surface of some beds suggests periodical emergence into an intertidal zone.’
    • ‘The sedimentary rocks are well bedded and dominated by mudstones with beds 2-5 m thick.’
    • ‘That year the school was in British Columbia near the site of the now-famous Burgess Shale fossil beds.’
    • ‘The formation is composed of shales, mudstones, sandstones, oil shales and coal beds accumulated in fluvial to lacustrine environments.’
    • ‘Most beds are clearly graded, commonly with cross-bedded intervals towards the top.’
    layer, vein, seam, lode
    View synonyms
  • 5A layer of food on which other foods are served.

    ‘the salad is served on a bed of raw spinach’
    • ‘Serve the pollack on a bed of spring greens and top with the crispy bacon.’
    • ‘The fish, coated with polenta and fried was served on a bed of rocket with a reduced red wine sauce as an accompaniment.’
    • ‘The cold plate was beautifully presented on a bed of green leaves, with little pots of mustard and mayo, hard boiled eggs and tomato.’
    • ‘I had the pan-fried goat's cheese on a bed of salad with a brandy and garlic butter.’
    • ‘My salad consisted of thin slices of tender chicken and whole, seedless red and green grapes and cherry tomatoes on a bed of salad leaves.’
    • ‘I ordered the house speciality - calves liver and spinach on a bed of mashed potato.’
    • ‘Mine was a large piece of pink salmon on a bed of spinach, topped with red and green sauce and matchsticks of courgette.’
    • ‘My main course was beef on a bed of creamed potatoes, with glazed vegetables and a sweet jus.’
    • ‘This wine is ideal with slices of cool turkey, dusted with a little sea salt and draped over a crisp lettuce bed on rye bread.’
    • ‘Abi had veal on a bed of puy lentils with a gratin of potatoes and butternut squash.’
    • ‘Served on a bed of lettuce, they were declared the best dish from all those sampled.’
    • ‘These will go into a raw beef salad, the meat marinated in fish sauce and lime juice and the whole lot served on a bed of crispy fried noodle.’
    • ‘Arrange a little bed of watercress on four small serving plates, and balance a tartine on top of each.’
    • ‘The parcels were then served on a bed of lettuce with toasted pitta bread.’
    • ‘They appeared on the dreaded bed of spinach, which is always ghastly.’
    • ‘Show me a menu featuring salmon poached with liquorice and served on a bed of asparagus, and I crave a corned beef sandwich.’
    • ‘Chilli peppers are included in a mixture of minced lamb and flavourings served on a bed of Basmati rice.’
    • ‘These tasty dishes were served on beds of broccoli dressed with chili, garlic, spring onions and other ingredients.’
    • ‘Serve hot on a bed of onion, tomato and cucumber rings and plenty of tomato sauce or any chutney of your choice.’
    • ‘The baked lamb is served on the bed of rice liberally garnished with almonds and ghee.’
  • 6A flat base or foundation on which something rests or is supported.

    ‘place each paver on a bed of concrete’
    base, basis, foundation, support, prop, stay, bottom, core, substructure, substratum
    View synonyms
    1. 6.1 The foundation of a road or railroad.
      ‘the rubble and dirt will help to provide a stable bed for the new road’
      • ‘The men you see in the foreground are laying stones to form the bed of the road.’
      • ‘When the train stopped our car was positioned well beyond the station area over the gravel road bed.’
      • ‘The bed of the railway track is mainly limestone ballast, with ash on the outer margins.’
      • ‘Three and a half years passed by, but not one mile of road bed or train tracks was made.’
      • ‘Workers again placed concrete mud beds on the subgrade under the drains and attached angle iron to them with concrete anchors.’
    2. 6.2North American The open part of a truck, wagon, or railroad car, where goods are carried.
      ‘the spare tire in the forward bed of the truck’
      • ‘Soon, the car was attached by its back bumper to the miniature crane in the bed of the truck.’
      • ‘With that he put her bags in the bed of the truck and walked over to the passenger door and opened it.’
      • ‘The forklift operator put it behind the first two pallets, centered on the bed of the truck.’
      • ‘We see them in sports bars, dark lounges, or spilling from the beds of pick-up trucks.’
      • ‘Digging into the boxes stacked on the truck bed, Ian came up with a tin of luncheon meat.’
      • ‘The side benches prevent the sandbags from being stacked all the way to the edge of the truck bed.’
      • ‘Joe screwed the top back on the canteen, and squeezed, on his back, under the wagon bed.’
      • ‘Next to them on the street a woman sells fruit from her pickup truck, and the bed overflows with pomelos and papayas.’
      • ‘The size of the vehicles also offered the crew a better field of view and permitted them to move more freely in the truck beds.’
      • ‘I turned sideways, leaning against the side of the truck bed, and held my arms out to her.’
      • ‘Jordan turned sideways so that his back was against the side of the truck bed.’
      • ‘The woman took notice of me for the first time as I climbed out of the wagon bed with my belongings under my arm.’
      • ‘When they had gone through the first container, a second was delivered on the bed of a huge truck.’
      • ‘Teenagers sat in the beds of pickup trucks with their hands covering their open mouths.’
      • ‘He said they were built on truck beds so they could be moved from locations likely to be inspected by the United Nations.’
      • ‘Michael quickly moved out of the bed of the truck and opened the driver side door.’
      • ‘The large burly man leapt on top of the of the truck bed and unsnapped the locks on the box.’
      • ‘Tedd got in the bed of the truck and was looking over the cab as we pulled up to the deer.’
      • ‘My bag was in the bed of the truck, so I grabbed it out and tried not to topple over from the lack of balance it caused me.’
      • ‘In one, he's standing beside the open bed of a pickup truck on which lies a giant, dead buck.’
    3. 6.3 The flat surface beneath the baize of a billiard table.
      • ‘The profile of the rail cushion, which is the cushion's angle in relation to the bed of the table, varies between table types.’
      • ‘Candle light was replaced by oil lamps, but a tray was still necessary to prevent drips of oil from damaging the cloth covering the bed of the table.’
      • ‘A foul has occurred if the cue ball or an object ball comes in contact on the table's bed.’
      • ‘The antique pool table is a mahogany beauty, six feet by 12 feet, with the words "Northwest" engraved on the underside of the pool table's bed.’
      • ‘Because the beds of these tables were made of wood, they warped within just a few years.’

verb

  • 1no object Settle down to sleep or rest for the night in an improvised place.

    ‘he usually bedded down on newspapers in the church porch’
    • ‘Those not staying with relatives were last night preparing to bed down in sleeping bags at the nearby sports and amateur rugby league club, set up as the emergency centre to deal with the incident.’
    • ‘When the storm, with winds of up to 120 mph struck, Anna and her family were herded into their hotel's top-floor conference centre and, with blankets and pillows, told to bed down for the night.’
    • ‘They walk four, or nine, or seventeen days, stretching a sheet on the ground to bed down at night.’
    • ‘We then departed for a wooded spot a few miles away, where we bedded down in the brush for the night, hoping to regain contact with our colleagues in the morning.’
    • ‘The culprit is thought to have been a homeless man, who bedded down for the night in one of the mobiles and wrote a note of apology, explaining he had nowhere to stay.’
    • ‘We finally made it to the platform we were to sleep on, ate dinner, and bedded down in the mine.’
    • ‘The Avenue features street kids, many of whom live from night to night, bedding down wherever they can find shelter.’
    • ‘But still we arrived at Davy's tiny caravan before midnight, and after turning out the mice, were able to squeeze in and bed down for the night.’
    • ‘Picking a good place to bed down for the night can make a big difference in combating the chill.’
    • ‘That night he made his way out of town and bedded down on the edge of a shallow gully.’
    • ‘Anyways, we left Calgary in the morning and bedded down that night on the beach of a tiny island called Keye Caulker.’
    • ‘For the time being, he had to find a place to bed down for the night.’
    • ‘After several hours of chatting and singing, the night grew late and the people began to bed down to sleep.’
    • ‘The Evening Press reported the 39-year-old kept all his worldly possessions on the back seat, shaved in the rear-view mirror, and bedded down on the driver's seat every night wrapped in a waterproof smock.’
    • ‘He has friends all over the country, and all over Europe, so he usually finds a place to bed down for a few nights.’
    • ‘We bedded down in the forest that first night on the way back.’
    • ‘Spiralling numbers of homeless people in South and North Yorkshire are bedding down on the floors of friends or family for years on end because they have nowhere else to go.’
    • ‘Not 25 yards behind me are nearly destitute people preparing to bed down for the night under flimsy pieces of cloth attached to poles.’
    • ‘The rest bedded down in one of the shelters, detox centres, hospital emergency departments, or police cells.’
    • ‘Each night as they bedded down, the chimps would call out to one another.’
    retire, call it a day
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1bed someone/something down Settle a person or animal down to sleep or rest for the night.
      • ‘Stable boys were bedding the horses down for the night or sweeping the stabling area clean.’
      • ‘The avener and his young son, no more than nine years old, were bedding down the horses for the night and shushing them quietly, trying to calm them as best they could.’
      • ‘We'll go get coffee and chaser when you're finished bedding her down.’
      • ‘The other horses were brought in and the two girls were kept busy, fetching fresh water and hay for the horses, while the horsemen groomed the animals and bedded them down.’
      • ‘You'll need to see to the horse's injury and bed him down.’
      • ‘They'd bedded the cattle down, and were making camp.’
      • ‘These workers had real jobs, which included bedding down animals, milking, making cheese and selling farm produce from its busy shop which is popular with consumers looking for locally - produced organic food.’
      • ‘Each evening the horses were bedded down, fed, watered, cosseted and crooned at.’
      • ‘As darkness enveloped us we made our way back to the kennels, it was time to feed the dogs then bed them down for the night.’
      • ‘Beginning with the basic decision about whether to have a pony at all, veterinary surgeon Hugh Venables addresses the questions of where to keep it, how to house it, where to bed it down, and how to properly equip a stable.’
      • ‘Well, I think we'd best bed you down right now, son.’
      • ‘We bedded him down on Friday night, tired and a little drunk, in the living room, at 2am, next to a radiator and directly opposite the morning sun, which our house faces.’
      • ‘We decided for the first movie we'd get The Full Monty, but because a lot of people wanted to see it and they had small kids, they had no other alternative but to bring the kids and bed them down on the floor.’
      • ‘The feed was there to keep her weight on, the straw was there to bed her down on; and in my eyes the loanee was getting a very good deal, yet it still wasn't enough.’
    2. 1.2informal Have sexual intercourse with.
      ‘I am quite picky when it comes to bedding someone’
      • ‘He is caught bedding his partner's best friend.’
      • ‘She has rubbished the singer's claim that he bedded four of the five members of the group.’
      • ‘The day of nuptials culminated with a brief comedy moment - as members of the cast hit the dancefloor to reveal some interesting moves - before ruthless Rob bedded the bridesmaid to keep the sordid secret under wraps.’
      • ‘In 500 years he only beds one woman and even then has to pay for the privilege.’
      • ‘He bedded scores of women and got drunk with his men and worshipped his king.’
      • ‘He regularly bedded secretaries and prostitutes provided by friendly governments.’
      • ‘And by the end of the night, he'd have bedded all of them.’
      • ‘They solved some crimes and bedded a lot of bikini-clad women.’
      • ‘She wooed her by writing her a fabulous part in the nursing academy's Christmas play, and bedded her in the dormitory soon after.’
      • ‘I wonder if the actress knew this when she was bedded by him.’
      • ‘He is renowned for bedding scores of women.’
      • ‘He sold the story of how he bedded her on his first date to the News of the World for £15,000.’
      • ‘Her husband Nick is the one who bedded Kath, and this devastating truth forces Elaine ruthlessly to re-evaluate their shared past.’
      • ‘Rock musicians spend all their time bedding models and ingesting narcotics.’
      • ‘But even if he was a crime lord who bedded whores and killed his subordinates, I had seen the kind side of him too long to absolutely hate him.’
      • ‘The singer has confessed he got fat after getting bored with bedding lots of different women.’
      • ‘You don't deserve a man who's killed other men and bedded other women.’
      • ‘Most men who interview her write as if they want to bed her.’
      • ‘Just days after the troubled rapper checked into a rehab clinic for a sleeping pill addiction, the pop diva has vehemently denied he bedded her.’
      • ‘In the film, Christina will play a young woman who beds complete strangers whenever she has a panic attack.’
  • 2Transfer (a plant) from a pot or seed tray to a garden plot.

    ‘I bedded out these houseplants’
    • ‘Some fifteen boxes of daylilies and irises were sent over last weekend, and they will need to be bedded soon.’
    • ‘The best time to bed new strawberries is in early spring.’
    • ‘Bed the plants into the prepared trench and cover the roots with soil, which should be watered if dry.’
    • ‘I have bedded my tomato plants in the greenhouse and some more in the veg patch, whilst the wife has potted her crab apple tree in the planter.’
    • ‘I dealt with it by spending the day in the garden, potting and bedding-in a batch of new flowers.’
    plant, plant out, set in beds, set in soil, put in the ground, set out, transplant
    View synonyms
  • 3usually be bedded in/onFix firmly; embed.

    ‘the posts should be firmly bedded in concrete’
    • ‘Now the council has stepped in to try and make some of them safe by using a hoist to lift the stones and bedding them in concrete two feet deep.’
    • ‘The loose stone is where it needs bedding in but workmen will be on site this week to carry out repairs and we will be doing the best we can but there will still be loose stones until it is bedded in.’
    • ‘He commented on the ease with which slabs were removed, demonstrating that they were not firmly bedded to 75% depth in accordance with our printed recommendations.’
    • ‘She returned to the task of bolting together the sides of her small greenhouse and bedding them into the soil.’
    • ‘The track in Australia is not deeply bedded on a firm base and much of it lacks proper drainage.’
    embed, set, fix into, insert, inlay, implant, bury, base, plant, settle
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Lay or arrange (something, especially stone) in a layer.
      • ‘The Haluut Bulag melange is dominantly sedimentary with lenses of bedded limestone, sandstone, siltstone, and locally vesicular basalt, enclosed in a matrix of pelitic schist.’
      • ‘This is the only location where bedded sedimentary rocks were observed to be in direct contact with the pillow basalts.’
      • ‘The Formation with a total thickness of 2,500 m in the area generally consists of calcareous sandstone, greywacke and silt interbeds, with some massive and median-thickly bedded limestones.’
      • ‘In this core, a 100m thick impact breccia underlies 50 cm of bedded dolomitic limestone with diverse planktic foraminiferal assemblages of zone CF1 that spans the last 300 ka of the Maastrichtian.’
      • ‘The veins extend perpendicularly from the thrust fault across the skarn and pinch out in overlying rhythmically bedded limestone.’
      • ‘The granitoids and the steeply bedded sedimentary rocks that they intruded are cut by steep or vertical regional cleavage.’
      • ‘They consist of extremely fine-grained evenly bedded limestone, formerly quarried for use in printing.’
      • ‘It is represented by the E-Lert Formation of the Ratburi Group, consisting of mudstone, shale, sandstone, and limestone with a few bedded cherts.’
      • ‘The age of the tuff collected from bedded volcanic rocks newly exposed in the quarry at Bardon Hill is less easy to interpret.’
      • ‘To emphasize the characteristics of the bedded rocks, the right- and left-hand columns of Figure 4 exclude the primary volcanic facies.’
      • ‘Often, the stones split along the bedding planes, especially on thinly bedded slabs.’
      • ‘The sedimentary rocks are well bedded and dominated by mudstones with beds 2-5 m thick.’
      • ‘Chert layers and nodules are relatively abundant and it is striking that many limestone beds display, in their middle part, a 2-8 cm thick, irregularly bedded chert layer.’
      • ‘The Charnian Supergroup is a bedded sequence of volcanic rocks (largely tuffs) with, at the top of the sequence, a thick pelite devoid of volcanic input.’
      • ‘It is represented by the uppermost Nong Pong and the uppermost Khao Khad Formations of the Saraburi Group, consisting of limestone with a few bedded cherts, shale, sandstone and a few volcanics.’
      • ‘The focus of this article is the mineralization that occurs within a 10-25 meter layer of bedded pillow lava that overlies subaqueous flow lobes and massive columnar basalt that is well exposed in the quarry.’
      • ‘From the Early Aptian to the latest Albian, a c.750 m thick succession of cyclically bedded marlstones and limestones was deposited in the centre of the basin.’
      • ‘During the middle to late Tertiary Period, dikes, sills, and small irregular bodies of mafic to silicic igneous material were intruded into the bedded sedimentary and volcanic rocks.’
      • ‘The lower part of the section in the Ninemile Formation consists of dominant shales with micritic laminated limestone beds, which is succeeded by 21 metres of rubbly bedded nodular limestones with shale partings.’
      • ‘A mile away across the valley the far cliffs stood in white limestone buttresses bedded on red scree slopes, glowing in early sun.’

Phrases

  • bed of nails

    • 1A board with nails pointing out of it, as lain on by fakirs and ascetics.

      • ‘It felt as if she was walking on a bed of nails barefoot.’
      • ‘An instructor of Indian traditional dance swirled and swayed on a bed of nails for more than 30 minutes in Kuala Lumpur, leaving her with slightly bloodied feet and claims to a record.’
      • ‘Alex can ride the unicycle, lie on a bed of nails, spin plates, juggle, deliver gags and is now mastering the art of puppetry.’
      • ‘Lying on a bed of nails, while a 7,000 kg truck over his stomach, he did not flinch for even a second.’
      • ‘He lies on a bed of nails buried under a stack of cement blocks and walks on broken glass and machetes in his bare feet.’
      • ‘He watches a fakir twirl on his nose on a bed of nails.’
      • ‘Then, Craig told us about how his father once lay on a bed of nails and he then got on top of his father and lifted weights.’
      • ‘The word fakir often brings to mind the image of a thin, old Indian man, lying on a bed of nails, walking on hot coals or accomplishing any other kind of apparently impossible demonstration.’
      • ‘It's like walking on broken glass, lying on a bed of nails and having a concrete block broken on your chest.’
      • ‘The devoted England fan who showed his passion by lying on a bed of nails during the clash with Brazil has been invited to go to Japan and repeat the performance - during the World Cup final.’
      1. 1.1A problematic or uncomfortable situation.
        • ‘Ms Hardy, the first woman to occupy the editor's bed of nails, falls, alas, into the latter category.’
        • ‘Much will depend on their top order to perform the rescue-act, otherwise they will be sitting on a bed of nails.’
        • ‘Of course, in a high-intensity country like the United States, we don't need a bed of nails.’
        • ‘So a third term for the prime minister would immediately be a bed of nails unless he made major concessions to his critics.’
        • ‘Instead, I mulled over the sequence of events bringing me here to this bed of nails.’
        • ‘However, those who suffered extreme injustice would have to go through a tough test before they were permitted to see the local governor - they would have to lie on a bed of nails.’
        • ‘She first realised that her film career was on the skids when she signed up to do a film called Bed of Roses with Christian Slater which turned out to be a bed of nails.’
        • ‘I was there as the Sunday Herald's village idiot, I'd made my bed of nails, and I was going to have to lie on it.’
        • ‘Motherhood is a bed of nails that requires a lot of adjustment before you can get comfortable.’
        • ‘The life she knew would take her nowhere except downhill, where, she expected, a bed of nails awaited her.’
  • be brought to bed

    • archaic (of a woman) give birth to a child.

      ‘she was brought to bed of a daughter’
      • ‘In early fall Estelle was brought to bed of the child.’
      • ‘Soon Estelle could no longer bear to stand and was brought to bed to deliver the child.’
      • ‘Although she had been brought to bed and completed her ‘crying out’, she was still ‘in the straw’ (alluding to early bed-fillings) and would remain so for a full month.’
      • ‘When the woman was brought to bed, the enchantress appeared at once, gave the child the name of Rapunzel, and took it away with her.’
      • ‘Nine months later she was brought to bed of a son.’
  • get up on the wrong side of the bed

    • Start the day in a bad temper.

      ‘I've gotten up on the wrong side of the bed and everybody knows it’
  • in bed with

    • 1informal Having sexual intercourse with.

      ‘I came home and found them in bed together’
      • ‘In June of that year, he came home from work one night and found his wife in bed with another man.’
      • ‘I went looking for him and found him in bed with a slut that was also on the cheerleading squad.’
      • ‘Marjorie, who used to spend every Friday night in bed with a different man, has been binging and purging since eleven.’
      • ‘He found his wife in bed with another man, shot them both, and then himself.’
      • ‘They're used to seeing a female and thinking about what it's like to be in bed with her.’
      • ‘A wife came home just in time to find her husband in bed with another woman.’
      • ‘Bob ends up in bed with the lounge singer from the hotel, we we all have been making fun of from the beginning of the film.’
      • ‘My decision was finalized when I caught him in bed with another woman.’
      • ‘There is a scene where Rupert is in bed with another man and a phone call comes.’
      • ‘She was in bed with her lover, a single blanket covering their entwined limbs.’
      • ‘In due course, she ends up in bed with each of them, and soon thereafter she announces she's pregnant.’
      • ‘A woman was in bed with her lover when she heard her husband opening the front door.’
      • ‘Then one day, you're gonna come home and find your wife in bed with another man.’
      have sex with, have sexual intercourse with, make love to, sleep with, spend the night with
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1In undesirably close association with.
        ‘he was in bed with the Mob’
        • ‘You should choose someone who doesn't have a history of being in bed with the bad guys.’
        • ‘Today's unions are in bed with the enemy.’
        • ‘When you're in bed with the police, you've got an interest in getting along.’
        • ‘Not only that, they are also in bed with the Liberal Democrats to form what they all term a ‘partnership’.’
        • ‘It does sound too much like our reporters are in bed with the military.’
        • ‘How can my views have any validity if they put me in bed with either of the above?’
        • ‘And democracies are in bed with communist and military regimes.’
        • ‘But had I been able to ask these questions, I suppose I would have been accused of being in bed with the president.’
        • ‘Pharmaceutical companies may not be in bed with your doctor, but more and more they are in class with your doctor.’
        • ‘In 1987 in Queensland, captains of the vice industry were found in bed with senior police.’
  • put someone to bed

    • Take or prepare someone, typically a child, for rest in bed.

      ‘Clare put her to bed and gave her a mug of cocoa’
      • ‘The baby started screaming as soon as I tried to give him his bottle and put him to bed.’
      • ‘I had the pleasure of cooking dinner, feeding, bathing and putting Franklin to bed on my own.’
      • ‘The children were put to bed early that evening.’
      • ‘Denise said the accident happened after she had been putting Cameron to bed in his own bedroom and someone knocked at the door.’
      • ‘She said: ‘When we put Ethan to bed on Tuesday night he was fine, but it crept up overnight and on Wednesday morning he was unconscious and had purple blotches on his skin.’’
      • ‘My wife was out late last night, so I put Zachery to bed.’
      • ‘He would come home, put Jack to bed as I cooked dinner, then we'd eat and have some quiet time together.’
      • ‘Tonight, as I was changing Alex before putting her to bed, she did something she never did before.’
      • ‘My mother would put me to bed and I'd scream and scream.’
      • ‘When we put him to bed, he wants to tell us about his day.’
  • take to one's bed

    • Stay in bed because of illness.

      • ‘Henrietta had similar symptoms at age thirteen and took to her bed for years.’
      • ‘I'd pretty well given up on the day, took an early lunch, popped a couple of painkillers and took to my bed.’
      • ‘On one cold winter night, she caught fever and took to her bed.’
      • ‘In 1980, following the New York play, she went to LA to write sitcoms but, when her ideas were rejected, she took to her bed for six weeks with a breakdown.’
      • ‘By the time she mounted the carriage for her dress fitting, she was ready to take to her bed and cry illness for the next few weeks.’
      • ‘In 1896 she again took to her bed, this time to stay.’
      • ‘My stress levels soared so high that I developed second trimester pregnancy complications and was ordered by my doctor to take to my bed and avoid the news.’
      • ‘Last night I took to my bed at the early hour of eight, and spent a hoarse night waking a lot and feeling crampy and sorry for myself.’
      • ‘And then I had an awful headache so was forced to take to my bed for an hour.’
      • ‘Usually when I'm sick or getting sick, I start to feel droopy and miserable and cranky and unable to function, and I just want to take to my bed.’
  • bed of roses

    • often with negativeUsed in reference to a situation or activity that is comfortable or easy.

      ‘farming is no bed of roses’
      • ‘We've been told, by countless shrinks and well-meaning friends, that marriage is no everlasting bed of roses.’
      • ‘Most young people think married life is a bed of roses.’
      • ‘I don't expect it to be a bed of roses but if it all crumbles I will pick up the pieces in my own way, without the help of lawyers.’
      • ‘Though he quickly notes that that it was not all a bed of roses, he took away more good than bad from his youth.’
      • ‘People think that life is a bed of roses if you're a professional golfer, but life is very hard on the Challenge Tour.’
      • ‘Working as a social worker, particularly with the Government agencies, is not a bed of roses; it is a very tough job to do.’
      • ‘There are hardly any women in racing and it is not a bed of roses, but I keep my head down and let my driving do the talking.’
      • ‘I like the experience but it's not all a bed of roses.’
      • ‘Acting is no bed of roses at the best of times, but those early years can be particularly hazardous.’
      • ‘Admittedly, my pregnancy wasn't great - all day morning sickness put paid to that - and the birth was no bed of roses either.’
      ease, freedom from hardship, repose, relaxation, serenity, tranquillity, contentment, content, well-being, cosiness, enjoyment
      View synonyms
  • make a bed

    • Fit a bed with sheets, blankets, and pillows.

      • ‘Digging into the cart I pulled out the bed supplies and made my pathetic attempt to make a bed.’
      • ‘Have you even made a bed before?’
      • ‘The Claimant worked as a part time chambermaid at a Manchester Hotel, where, on 14 November 1991, she sustained a minor crush injury to her left hand while making a bed.’
      • ‘A nurse showed me how to make a bed, and then watched me as I had to make all the other beds on my own.’
      • ‘I can't believe you can set up camp, masterfully handle a sword, and courageously do battle, but you can't make a bed?’
      • ‘Symptoms can include fatigue from simple activities like walking up stairs or making a bed.’
      • ‘According the comments, I don't know how to make a bed properly.’
      • ‘Girls had to be able to run 60 metres in 14 seconds, throw a ball 12 metres, complete a 2 hour march, swim 100 metres and know how to make a bed.’
      • ‘She goes into incredible detail on everything from how to make a bed to frying an egg on the Aga.’
      • ‘First question: ‘Sorry to have to ask you this but do you know how to make a bed?’’
  • put a newspaper to bed

    • informal Prepare a newspaper for press.

      • ‘Got a long day tomorrow; I'm putting a magazine to bed.’
      • ‘It all began after I stopped by the pub after putting the paper to bed on new year's eve to share a shandy with the troops.’
      • ‘The vast amount of our usage is not taken from the paper, it's content we produce once the newspaper is put to bed.’
      • ‘It didn't matter how close to putting the paper to bed, if it was a story she really needed she would wait right through to the end, but she would be a very cross lady.’
      • ‘The key match finished well beyond the time most papers are put to bed.’
      • ‘Eventually it was done, the paper was put to bed, set up on the printing press and rolled out for dispatch.’
      • ‘The news was one of two late good news breaks about the health service as we put the newspaper to bed on Thursday afternoon.’
      • ‘They'd found out at night, just as they were putting the paper to bed, and included as much relevant information as they could confirm at the time.’
      • ‘Everywhere around me, the editorial staff were putting the magazine to bed.’
      • ‘He catches the cramped, grotty frisson of the reporters' room, the professionalism instilled by hard-nosed old hands in the game, the lure of the bars when the final edition had been put to bed.’

Origin

Old English bed, bedd (noun), beddian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch bed and German Bett.

Pronunciation

bed

/bed//bɛd/

Main definitions of bed in English

: bed1BEd2

BEd2

  • Bachelor of Education.

    • ‘While there are undergraduate routes into teaching - mainly through the four-year BEd course - few aspiring secondary science teachers currently follow this path.’
    • ‘Wendy obtained a BSc HEc in 1988, BEd in 1993 and an MSc in 1994, at the University of Saskatchewan.’
    • ‘From there I thought I might make more difference lecturing to BEd students at a university.’
    • ‘Students of the Pratap College of Education here have secured four of the top five positions in the BEd examination conducted by Panjab University.’
    • ‘One BEd student told the union: ‘Teaching is not a job that can be done without a degree.’’
    • ‘A native of Armagh, she was educated at St Catherine's college, Armagh and gained a Honours BEd degree from St Mary's University Belfast.’
    • ‘She was a BCom student and was suspected to be depressed because she did not get marks required to get admission to a BEd course.’
    • ‘He did his BEd. and MA in Economics from AMU and topped the list of successful candidates in MA for which he was awarded University Medal.’
    • ‘He is studying for a BEd in English Literature and works as a freelance journalist.’
    • ‘Rose of Tralee Orla O'Shea swapped her tiara for a mortarboard yesterday when she graduated from Mary Immaculate teacher training college in Limerick.Orla, who was conferred with a BEd, teaches in a girls' school in Swords, Co Dublin.’

Pronunciation

BEd

/biˈɛd//bēˈed/