bed

Definitions

General English

General Science

Agriculture

  • noun a specially planted area of land, e.g. an asparagus bed, flower bed or a strawberry bed

Cars & Driving

  • noun a flat area used as a support

Construction

  • The mortar into which masonry units are set.
  • sand or other aggregate on which pipe or conduit is laid in a trench.
  • To set in place with putty or similar compound, as might be performed in glazing.
  • To level or smooth a path onto which a tree will be felled.
  • To set glass in place using putty.

Food

  • noun a layer of food on which other foods are served

Media Studies

  • noun music or other background sounds that are played under an item such as the news

Publishing

  • noun the flat surface on which the metal type in its chase is placed, or on which flat printing plates are placed

Origin & History of “bed”

Bed is common throughout the Germanic languages (German bett, Dutch bed), and comes from a prehistoric Germanic *bathjam. Already in Old English times the word meant both ‘place for sleeping’ and ‘area for growing plants’, and if the latter is primary, it could mean that the word comes ultimately from the Indo-European base *bhodh-, source of Latin fodere ‘dig’ (from which English gets fosse and fossil), and that the underlying notion of a bed was therefore originally of a sleeping place dug or scraped in the ground, like an animal’s lair.
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