The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Bed \Bed\, n. [AS. bed, bedd; akin to OS. bed, D. bed, bedde,
Icel. be?r, Dan. bed, Sw. b[aum]dd, Goth. badi, OHG. betti,
G. bett, bette, bed, beet a plat of ground; all of uncertain
1. An article of furniture to sleep or take rest in or on; a
couch. Specifically: A sack or mattress, filled with some
soft material, in distinction from the bedstead on which
it is placed (as, a feather bed), or this with the
bedclothes added. In a general sense, any thing or place
used for sleeping or reclining on or in, as a quantity of
hay, straw, leaves, or twigs.
And made for him [a horse] a leafy bed. --Byron.
I wash, wring, brew, bake, . . . make the beds.
In bed he slept not for my urging it. --Shak.
2. (Used as the symbol of matrimony) Marriage.
George, the eldest son of his second bed.
3. A plat or level piece of ground in a garden, usually a
little raised above the adjoining ground. "Beds of
hyacinth and roses." --Milton.
4. A mass or heap of anything arranged like a bed; as, a bed
of ashes or coals.
5. The bottom of a watercourse, or of any body of water; as,
the bed of a river.
So sinks the daystar in the ocean bed. --Milton.
6. (Geol.) A layer or seam, or a horizontal stratum between
layers; as, a bed of coal, iron, etc.
7. (Gun.) See Gun carriage, and Mortar bed.
(a) The horizontal surface of a building stone; as, the
upper and lower beds.
(b) A course of stone or brick in a wall.
(c) The place or material in which a block or brick is
(d) The lower surface of a brick, slate, or tile.
9. (Mech.) The foundation or the more solid and fixed part or
framing of a machine; or a part on which something is laid
or supported; as, the bed of an engine.
10. The superficial earthwork, or ballast, of a railroad.
11. (Printing) The flat part of the press, on which the form
Note: Bed is much used adjectively or in combination; as, bed
key or bedkey; bed wrench or bedwrench; bedchamber;
Bed of justice (French Hist.), the throne (F. lit bed)
occupied by the king when sitting in one of his
parliaments (judicial courts); hence, a session of a
refractory parliament, at which the king was present for
the purpose of causing his decrees to be registered.
To be brought to bed, to be delivered of a child; -- often
followed by of; as, to be brought to bed of a son.
To make a bed, to prepare a bed; to arrange or put in order
a bed and its bedding.
From bed and board (Law), a phrase applied to a separation
by partial divorce of man and wife, without dissolving the
bonds of matrimony. If such a divorce (now commonly called
a judicial separation) be granted at the instance of the
wife, she may have alimony.