hot button


Definition of hot button

: an emotional and usually controversial issue or concern that triggers immediate intense reaction

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Other Words from hot button

hot-button \ ˈhät-​ˈbə-​tᵊn How to pronounce hot-button (audio) \ 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 Back in the conference room, Jay brings the discussion around to a hot button issue: reparations. Chancellor Agard,, "The Good Fight recap: The gang argues about reparations and searches for Memo 618," 30 Apr. 2020 Since Israel’s founding, secular and ultra-Orthodox Israelis have viewed each other with suspicion, and tensions have erupted repeatedly over hot button issues such as the military draft. Time, "After Ignoring Warnings, Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Communities Hit by Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 Testing continues to be a hot button issue and while New York reportedly tested 10,000 people overnight, Ferrer reported that L.A. County — population north of 10 million — still only reported testing of 2,400 people thus far. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "L.A. County Reports 61 New Coronavirus Cases, Largest Single Day Spike to Date," 20 Mar. 2020 The judiciary rules, instead, are fundamentally democratic, intended to provide wide latitude for divisive debates over the nation’s most pressing policy issues, many of the them cultural hot buttons that fuel each party’s activist base. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "Sidelined for Months, Judiciary Panel Will Reclaim Impeachment Drive It Once Led," 1 Dec. 2019 Rodgers makes a very important point about the players’ health and safety, still a hot button issue in a sport that involves violent collisions on nearly every play. NBC News, "How likely is an NFL work stoppage? Fears grow after marquee athletes announce opposition," 1 Mar. 2020 Speakers spoke against Trump policies, the conflict with Iran, crackdowns on immigrants and other hot button issues. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A made-in-Milwaukee carnival: Donald Trump, Milwaukee Bucks fill downtown," 14 Jan. 2020 Biometrics at the border At the beginning of this century, immigration became a hot button issue in the wake of 2001’s terrorist attacks, and borders reflexively tightened through 2002’s Homeland Security Act. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Things That Changed How We Travel in the 2010s," 16 Dec. 2019 Companies that have not toed the line on hot button issues like the status of Taiwan, Tibet or Hong Kong have suffered serious consequences. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "French basketball player fined for disrespecting Chinese anthem," 10 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hot button.' 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 hot button

1966, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hot button

Time Traveler

The first known use of hot button was in 1966

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Statistics for hot button

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hot button.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for hot button

hot button


English Language Learners Definition of hot button

: an issue that causes people to feel strong emotions (such as anger) and to argue with each other

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