hot button


: an emotional and usually controversial issue or concern that triggers immediate intense reaction
hot-button adjective

Examples of hot button in a Sentence

The film is considered very controversial for all the hot buttons it pushes.
Recent Examples on the Web In Kentucky, transgender identities became a hot button issue in the governor's rare: Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear bested Republican Kelly Craft in the deep red state. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 17 Apr. 2024 One commenter argued, however, that the film’s hot button topicality could backfire if — heaven forbid — real-world violence did occur. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Mar. 2024 But it's always meant to get a reaction, whether from allies or critics, especially on hot button topics such as immigration and crime. Phillip M. Bailey, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2024 Nonetheless Chang isn’t oblivious to the fact immigration remains a hot button issue. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 22 Mar. 2024 In the latest episode of the Odd Lots podcast, Trevor Bales — a sixth generation farmer from Buckeye, Arizona — breaks down the complexities of farming alfalfa and other crops in a place where water distribution is becoming an increasingly hot button issue. Isabel Webb Carey,, 14 July 2023 Following the report, TikTok once again became a hot button issue in the nation’s capital. Catherine Thorbecke, CNN, 22 Mar. 2023 Its image of a Paris courtesan, with tungsten-white skin and a level gaze, stretched out on her bed and approached by a Black female attendant bearing flowers, punched many a hot button — social, aesthetic and ethical — in French bourgeois culture. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 21 Sep. 2023 The submissions from here focus on the universal hot button subject of climate change. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 12 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hot button.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hot button was in 1966

Dictionary Entries Near hot button

Cite this Entry

“Hot button.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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