Definitions

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

  • n. An environment conducive to vigorous growth or development, especially of something undesirable: a hotbed of intrigue.
  • n. A glass-covered bed of soil heated with fermenting manure or by electricity, used for the germination of seeds or for protecting tender plants.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a low bed of earth covered with glass, and heated with rotting manure; used for the germination of seeds and the growth of tender plants. A hotbed works as a miniature hothouse, i.e. greenhouse.
  • n. an environment that is ideal for the growth or development of something, especially of something undesirable

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. an iron platform in a rolling mill, on which hot bars, rails, etc., are laid to cool.
  • n. A bed of earth heated by fermenting manure or other substances, and covered with glass, intended for raising early plants, or for nourishing exotics.
  • n. A place which favors rapid growth or development.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In horticulture, a bed of earth heated by fermenting substances, and covered with glass to defend it from the cold air, intended for raising early plants, or for protecting tender exotics.
  • n. Figuratively, a seat of rapid growth or development, or of eager activity of some kind: generally in a bad sense: as, a hotbed of sedition.
  • n. In rail-making, the bed on which the redhot rail taken from the rolls is placed to cool.

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

  • n. a bed of earth covered with glass and heated by rotting manure to promote the growth of plants
  • n. a situation that is ideal for rapid development (especially of something bad)

Etymologies

From hot + bed. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • U.S. and Iraqi forces are targeting what they call a hotbed for terrorists in an area Northeast of Samarra.

    CNN Transcript Mar 16, 2006

  • Hama resident Saleh Abu Yaman said there was heavy shooting in the northeastern Hamidiyeh neighbourhood - which he described as a hotbed of anti-regime activists.

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • Hama resident Saleh Abu Yaman said there was heavy shooting in the northeastern Hamidiyeh neighborhood - which he described as a hotbed of anti-regime activists.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • The capital is known as a hotbed of anti-government sentiment, but residents expressed little enthusiasm for public protests.

    Protesters Absent as Ethiopia Marks Anniversary of Meles Rule

  • But you get the feeling being a hoop hotbed is apparently not one of them.

    Rainy Seattle washes out as NBA city

  • Add to his government profile that his ministry started in Galilee, which was known as a hotbed for its antigovernment positions, and Jesus had the profile in the Homeland Security Office of the Roman Empire as a right-wing, Bible-believing, hate monger who needed to be on the “watch list,” like four hundred thousand Americans are right now in Washington, DC.

    Can America Survive?

  • The county became known as a hotbed for asbestos litigation and large jury awards against corporate defendants.

    Bingham Generates Buzz

  • VCU Performing Arts vcuarts has become known as a hotbed of artistic creation and expression.

    WN.com - Financial News

  • Published: 2009-02-26 21: 32: 30+00: 00 vcuarts has become known as a hotbed of artistic creation and expression.

    WN.com - Financial News

  • The state is not known as a hotbed of progressivism, though his father sure as hell tried.

    Think Progress » Bayh: ‘I Think The Filibuster Absolutely Needs To Be Changed’

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