From bed and board
Bed Bed, n. [AS. bed, bedd; akin to OS. bed, D. bed, bedde, Icel. be?r, Dan. bed, Sw. b["a]dd, Goth. badi, OHG. betti, G. bett, bette, bed, beet a plat of ground; all of uncertain origin.] 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. [1913 Webster]

And made for him [a horse] a leafy bed. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

I wash, wring, brew, bake, . . . make the beds. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

In bed he slept not for my urging it. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. (Used as the symbol of matrimony) Marriage. [1913 Webster]

George, the eldest son of his second bed. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

4. A mass or heap of anything arranged like a bed; as, a bed of ashes or coals. [1913 Webster]

5. The bottom of a watercourse, or of any body of water; as, the bed of a river. [1913 Webster]

So sinks the daystar in the ocean bed. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

6. (Geol.) A layer or seam, or a horizontal stratum between layers; as, a bed of coal, iron, etc. [1913 Webster]

7. (Gun.) See {Gun carriage}, and {Mortar bed}. [1913 Webster]

8. (Masonry) (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 laid. (d) The lower surface of a brick, slate, or tile. --Knight. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

10. The superficial earthwork, or ballast, of a railroad. [1913 Webster]

11. (Printing) The flat part of the press, on which the form is laid. [1913 Webster]

Note: Bed is much used adjectively or in combination; as, bed key or bedkey; bed wrench or bedwrench; bedchamber; bedmaker, etc. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • divorce from bed and board — Same as divorce a mensa et thoro …   Ballentine's law dictionary

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