American English

Definition of bed noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] a piece of furniture for sleeping on a single/double bed She lay on the bed (= on top of the covers). He lay in bed (= under the covers). I'm tired—I'm going to bed. It's time for bed (= time to go to sleep). I'll just put the kids to bed. He likes to have a cup of cocoa before bed (= before going to bed). to get into/out of bed to make the bed (= arrange the covers in a tidy way) Could you give me a bed for the night (= somewhere to sleep)? There's a shortage of hospital beds (= not enough room for patients to be admitted). He has been confined to bed with flu for the past couple of days. see also sofa bed, twin bed, waterbed
  2. of river/lake/sea
  3. 2[countable] the bottom of a river, the ocean, etc. the ocean bed oyster beds (= an area in the ocean where there are many oysters )
  4. for flowers/vegetables
  5. 3[countable] an area of ground in a yard or park for growing flowers, vegetables, etc. flower beds see also seedbed
  6. bottom layer
  7. 4[countable] bed of something a layer of something that other things lie or rest on grilled chicken, served on a bed of rice The blocks should be laid on a bed of concrete.
  8. geology
  9. 5[countable] a layer of clay, rock, etc. in the ground see also bedrock
  10. Idioms
    (not) a bed of roses
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    (not) an easy or a pleasant situation Their life together hasn't exactly been a bed of roses.
    die in your bed
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    to die because you are old or sick
    get up on the wrong side of the bed
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    to be in a bad mood for the whole day for no particular reason
    go to bed with somebody (informal)
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    to have sex with someone
    used to refer to sexual activity What's he like in bed? I caught them in bed together (= having sex).
    take to your bed
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    to go to bed and stay there because you are sick
    wet the/your bed [no passive]
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    to urinate in your bed by accident It is quite common for small children to wet their beds.
    you've made your bed and you must lie in it (saying)
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    you must accept the results of your actions
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: bed