hot·​house | \ ˈhät-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce hothouse (audio) \

Definition of hothouse

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a greenhouse maintained at a high temperature especially for the culture of tropical plants
3 obsolete : brothel



Definition of hothouse (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms for hothouse

Synonyms: Noun

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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: Noun Any such divide is unlikely to be neat, given how the field of AI ethics sprouted in a tech industry hothouse. Tom Simonite, Wired, 8 June 2021 After admiring his hothouse collection, he is visited by terrible dreams of a female flower monster who tries to penetrate him in his sleep. Jessi Jezewska Stevens, The New Yorker, 8 May 2021 But the business of books has increasingly become a hothouse, generating controversies, Twitter feuds and scrambles to save face as existing power structures are challenged. Annabel Gutterman, Time, 12 May 2021 Plenty of parents are very much not shopping for a hothouse prep school, and having a diverse variety of colleges on a list helps signal that a high school isn’t a pressure cooker or some kind of factory. New York Times, 7 May 2021 Europe is an engineering hothouse that nurtures new technologies and constantly improves old ones. Daniel Michaels, WSJ, 4 May 2021 More notably, this book has a swirling hothouse quality that’s new. Dwight Garner, New York Times, 26 Apr. 2021 Excommunication was nothing new in 19th-century America, but Smith’s efforts to protect the procedural rights of the accused broke new ground within the hothouse of American Protestantism. The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Apr. 2021 But North Korea’s talent in the cybercrime field is grown in a hothouse. Ed Caesar, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hothouse.' 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 hothouse


1556, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hothouse

Time Traveler

The first known use of hothouse was in 1556

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Statistics for hothouse

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hothouse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hothouse



English Language Learners Definition of hothouse

: a heated building used for growing plants


hot·​house | \ ˈhät-ˌhau̇s How to pronounce hothouse (audio) \

Kids Definition of hothouse

: a heated building enclosed by glass for growing plants


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