[ hot-bed ]
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  1. a bottomless, boxlike, usually glass-covered structure and the bed of earth it covers, heated typically by fermenting manure or electrical cables, for growing plants out of season.

  2. a place or environment favoring rapid growth or spread, especially of something disliked or unwanted: a hotbed of disease.

  1. Slang. a bed shared by two or more persons in shifts, each sleeping in it for or at a designated time and then vacating it for the next occupant.

verb (used without object),hot·bed·ded, hot·bed·ding.
  1. Slang. to share a bed in shifts, so that it is always occupied.

Origin of hotbed

First recorded in 1620–30; hot + bed

Words Nearby hotbed

Other definitions for hot bed (2 of 2)

hot bed

  1. an area having rails or rolls on which rolled pieces are laid to cool.

Origin of hot bed

First recorded in 1620–30 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use hotbed in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hotbed


/ (ˈhɒtˌbɛd) /

  1. a glass-covered bed of soil, usually heated by fermenting material, used for propagating plants, forcing early vegetables, etc

  2. a place offering ideal conditions for the growth of an idea, activity, etc, esp one considered bad: a hotbed of insurrection

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012