Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bedmate.
  • n. One that is closely associated or allied with another: "Stupidity here makes an easy bedfellow, as always, with racialism” ( Christopher Hitchens).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One with whom one shares a bed.
  • n. An associate, often an otherwise improbable one.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who lies with another in the same bed; a person who shares one's couch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who shares a bed with another.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person with whom you share a bed
  • n. a temporary associate

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

bed +‎ fellow

Examples

Comments

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  • (noun) - (1) The simplicity of ancient manners made it common for men, even of the highest rank, to sleep together; and the term bedfellow implied great intimacy. Lord Scroop is said to have been bedfellow to Henry V as found in Shakespeare's Henry V:

    Nay, but the man was his bedfellow,

    Whom he hath cloy'd and grac'd with kingly favours.

    After the battle of Dreux, in 1562, the prince of Condé slept in the same bed with the duke of Guise, an anecdote frequently cited to show the magnanimity of the latter, who slept soundly, though so near his greatest enemy, then his prisoner. Letters from noblemen to each other often began with the appellation bedfellow.

    --Robert Nares' Glossary of the Works of English Authors, 1859

    (2) This unseemly custom continued common till the middle of the last century.

    --Rev. T.F. Thiselton-Dyer's Folk-Lore of Shakespeare, 1884

    Before he became president in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was known to have often slept with his best friend, Joshua Speed, while the two were traveling.

    January 16, 2018

  • Frequently described as "strange".

    December 6, 2010

  • MY favorite type of bed companion!

    December 31, 2008