1. Unable to leave one's bed, especially because of illness, weakness or obesity.
    • 1796, Robert Burns, letter written to Mr. Cunningham, 7 July, 1796, in The Prose Works of Robert Burns; Containing his Letters and Correspondence, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Mackenzie & Dent, 1819, p. 278
      For these eight or ten months I have been ailing, sometimes bedfast and sometimes not; but these last three months I have been tortured with an excruciating rheumatism, which has reduced me to nearly the last stage.
    • 1948, Robert Heinlein, Space Cadet (1948), from the edition reissued in 1975 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC: p. 118, lines 13 through 15.
      "She had been a very active woman... Now she was bed-fast and had been for three years."
    • 1976, Carlos Fuentes, Terra Nostra (1975), translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, Dalkey Archive, 2003, p. 592,
      "It is a place of bed-fast people, Señor, where all those who tire of life, or of whom life has tired, exhausted old men, disillusioned youths, dishonored families, take to their beds and pledge never to arise until death carries them off feet-first. […] "
    • 1996, Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (1924), translated by John E. Woods, New York: Vintage, Part 6, pp. 523-4,
      From then on Joachim assumed a permanently horizontal position, and Hans Castorp wrote to Luise Ziemssen about it—wrote to her from his splendid lounge chair that he must now add to his earlier occasional reports the news that Joachim was bedfast […]

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