hot·​bed | \ ˈhät-ˌbed How to pronounce hotbed (audio) \

Definition of hotbed

1 : a bed of soil enclosed in glass, heated especially by fermenting manure, and used for forcing or for raising seedlings
2 : an environment that favors rapid growth or development a hotbed of activity

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Examples of hotbed in a Sentence

a hotbed of political unrest prerevolutionary Boston was viewed as a hotbed of treason by the British
Recent Examples on the Web Las Vegas casinos, open for months now, are a likely hotbed for the spread of COVID-19, ProPublica reports. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: August 19-20," 21 Aug. 2020 Lepak did not respond to requests to interview her about her departure, but her department had been a hotbed of issues as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout Wisconsin in spring. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The head of Cudahy's health department is resigning effective Aug. 21," 20 Aug. 2020 American academia is a hotbed of proliferating identities supported and largely shaped by the higher ranks of administrators, faculty, student groups, alumni, and trustees. Laurent Dubreuil, Harper's Magazine, "Nonconforming," 18 Aug. 2020 In major-league baseball, which nobody thinks of as a hotbed for activism, the Milwaukee Brewers decided not to play their evening game, and other teams subsequently joined them in sitting out. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "The Exhilarating Jolt of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Wildcat Strike," 27 Aug. 2020 Indeed, a recent ProPublica report, which analyzed smartphone data, showed Vegas casinos have likely become a hotbed for the spread of COVID-19. Fortune, "A new place to WFH: Las Vegas," 25 Aug. 2020 Puerto Rico has become a hotbed for drug traffickers attempting to smuggle cocaine and heroin from Colombia in South America to the East Coast of the U.S. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "US border agents snag over $8M of cocaine in capsized boat near Puerto Rico," 25 Aug. 2020 The supermarket salad bar, sold by weight and created and dished up by you, can be, according to some health officials, a hotbed for the spread of the virus. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Where are the salad bars?," 13 Aug. 2020 After testing positive for Covid-19 last week, Hermione was put under quarantine—for the third time this year—as western Tennessee emerges as a fresh hotbed of the fast-spreading virus. James T. Areddy, WSJ, "Young Wuhan Evacuee Finds No Refuge From Coronavirus in U.S.," 13 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hotbed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hotbed

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hotbed

Time Traveler

The first known use of hotbed was in 1626

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Last Updated

12 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hotbed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce hotbed (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hotbed

: a place where something grows or develops easily : a place where something happens very commonly

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