an area having rails or rolls on which rolled pieces are laid to cool.
Pronunciation: (hot'bed"), [key]
—n., v., -bed•ded, -bed•ding.
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, esp. of something disliked or unwanted: a hotbed of disease.
3. 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.
Slang.to share a bed in shifts, so that it is always occupied.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.