hot·house | \ˈhät-ˌhau̇s \

Definition of hothouse 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete : bordello

2 : a greenhouse maintained at a high temperature especially for the culture of tropical plants



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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Examples of hothouse in a Sentence


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

Two decades later, Christian Dior envisioned women as hothouse flowers, with narrow, stem-like torsos blooming into dramatically full skirts. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Fashion’s Glorification—and Devastation—of Nature," 20 Apr. 2018 After graduating from Columbia, Nadler thrived in the political hothouse that was the West Side in those days. Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker, "Will the Fervor for Impeachment Start a Democratic Civil War?," 19 May 2018 Read more: While many varieties of rhubarb exist, most fall into two categories - hothouse and field grown. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Rhubarb season is here. Time to make bread.," 28 Apr. 2018 The group’s output lands on either side of the chamberlike feel of his early trio: complex, slaloming pieces that provide a hothouse environment for charged improvisation on one hand, and atmospheric works that privilege color and mood on the other. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Guitarist and oudist Gordon Grdina adapts to shifting contexts but always sounds like himself," 20 Apr. 2018 Look for artichokes, bok choy, carrots, green beans, new potatoes and (hothouse) tomatoes at the vegetable stands. Judy Walker,, "A guide to New Orleans area produce: When to buy what," 18 Apr. 2018 Not enough has looked at the hothouse of bullying and peer pressure that today's teens and tweens face - pressure that could crumple many adults. Laura Demarco,, "Cleveland International Film Festival: Columbine-inspired "And Then I Go" brutal look at growing up in America (review)," 7 Apr. 2018 For every Itzhak Perlman or Midori who rises to stardom from the hothouse environments of the city’s performing arts schools, there are surely hundreds of talents that flare out. Alex Vadukul, New York Times, "Redemption of a Lost Prodigy," 30 Mar. 2018 All of which would be fine if it weren't overwhelmed by a dry dome of briochelike bun, which crumbles under the pressure of a stern glare and fails to maintain structural integrity under the moisture of pickle and hothouse tomato. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Stop the presses: There’s an interesting new spot in Lincoln Square," 29 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

These fragile and artificial economies require hothouse conditions that a weakened OPEC can no longer provide. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Fracking Our Way to Mideast Peace," 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 1


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hothouse

The first known use of hothouse was in 1556

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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 \

Kids Definition of hothouse

: a heated building enclosed by glass for growing plants

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