hot potato


Definition of hot potato

: a controversial question or issue that involves unpleasant or dangerous consequences for anyone dealing with it

Examples of hot potato in a Sentence

He tried to avoid taking a strong stand on political hot potatoes like abortion.
Recent Examples on the Web That’s what happens when four different presidents have engaged in a game of hot potato with the lives of very real people. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2022 Since then, the issue of global warming has been a political hot potato. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2022 Disney has been a red-hot potato for politicians, both liberal and conservative, in recent months. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 27 July 2022 The cycle seemed to be playing out as expected — a slow-motion game of hot potato between the police, the courts, the jails and the hospitals. New York Times, 26 July 2022 In Wisconsin, third-party financing of solar projects has been a legal hot potato that politicians and regulators have avoided for years. Corrinne Hess, Journal Sentinel, 22 July 2022 The issue is a hot potato that gets passed between branches of the US government – Congress should fix this! John D. Sutter, CNN, 30 June 2022 Sometimes Twitter feels like the hot potato of the Internet, or perhaps more like a zone of nuclear radiation. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 21 Apr. 2022 The first demand is harmful to national security and a political hot potato. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 11 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of hot potato

1950, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hot potato

Time Traveler

The first known use of hot potato was in 1950

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Dictionary Entries Near hot potato

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hot potato


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Statistics for hot potato

Last Updated

9 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hot potato.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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