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.
a place or environment favoring rapid growth or spread, especially of something disliked or unwanted: a hotbed of disease.
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), hotbedded, hotbedding.
Slang. to share a bed in shifts, so that it is always occupied.

1620–30; hot + bed Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1626, from hot + bed, originally "bed of earth heated by fermenting manure for forcing growing plants;" generalized sense of "place that fosters rapid growth" is from 1768.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Too bad academia itself, a hotbed of anti-Semitism and armchair revolutionaries, will take longer to disappear.
Finding new ways to fund poor students in emerging markets has become a hotbed of innovation.
And cyberspace has become a promiscuous, meme-spreading hotbed of ideas.
Now it's a hotbed of curry, and other imported tastes.
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