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hot·​house ˈhät-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce hothouse (audio)
: a greenhouse maintained at a high temperature especially for the culture of tropical plants
obsolete : brothel


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: grown in a hothouse
: suggestive of growth and development in a hothouse
a hothouse existence
also : suggesting a hothouse
a hothouse atmosphere

Examples of hothouse in a Sentence

Noun grows tomatoes in his hothouse all winter long an urban enclave of bohemians that acquired a reputation for being a hothouse of creativity
Recent Examples on the Web
Winehouse is also the opposite of a hothouse flower, standing up to her management company and record execs and TV show hosts like Jonathan Ross and anyone who tries to reduce her to some easily categorizable, disposable commercial flavor of the moment. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 14 May 2024 The suburb was a hothouse of intellectualism thanks to all the college faculty and administrators living there — and their wives. Richard Selcer, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4 May 2024 The region is a hothouse for green businesses: organic farms, zero-waste shops, and environmentally-minded vineyards are thick on the ground. Jo Rodgers, Vogue, 3 May 2024 Occupying a realm between the trippy hothouse vibe of Blowup and the thriller machinations of De Palma, Coppola’s take is a sublime distillation. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Apr. 2024 In fact, Earth had more in common with Venus, a thick, toxic hothouse world, billions of years ago, according to a study published in Science Advances in 2020. Max Bennett, Discover Magazine, 11 Mar. 2024 The seamstress eventually left the hothouse environment of Washington to run the Department of Sewing and Domestic Science Arts for Ohio’s Wilberforce University, the first college in the U.S. owned and operated by African Americans. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Mar. 2024 Ball pythons have come to be seen as unnatural, hothouse creatures. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Jawaharlal Nehru University, named for India’s first prime minister, is one of the country’s premier liberal institutions, a hothouse of strong opinions and left-leaning values whose graduates populate the upper echelons of academia and government. Sameer Yasir, New York Times, 10 Feb. 2024
Fracas, fittingly beloved by personality-plus women such as Madonna, Martha Stewart, and Isabella Blow, dials the heady, hothouse opulence of tuberose up to 11 with the addition of jasmine, tonka bean, and musk. April Long, Town & Country, 13 Sep. 2019 These fragile and artificial economies require hothouse conditions that a weakened OPEC can no longer provide. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hothouse.' 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


1556, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hothouse was in 1556

Dictionary Entries Near hothouse

Cite this Entry

“Hothouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a heated greenhouse
hothouse adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on hothouse

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