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

conservatory, glasshouse [chiefly British], greenhouse

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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

If not, just use a mix of mini and English hothouse cucumbers, which are available year-round. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appétit, "Okay, Fine, California: You Win at Everything," 11 July 2019 That might be the more appealing strategy in the hothouse of party primaries. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Can Joe Biden Be America’s New Great Compromiser?," 21 June 2019 Beds of dill, borage, tarragon, shiso and chives, a pool house doubling as an orchid hothouse and ferns fill the spaces between. Quanta Magazine, "Victoria Meadows’ Earthly Visions of Alien Life," 16 June 2019 All of this slowly converts Sunset Towers into an oddly salutary hothouse environment. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "“The Westing Game,” a Tribute to Labor That Became a Dark Comedy of American Capitalism," 13 June 2019 That effort began at the start of the Second World War, came down to us through the counterculture of the 1960s, and flourishes today in the high-tech hothouse of Silicon Valley. Fred Turner, Harper's magazine, "Machine Politics," 10 Jan. 2019 Investigating the roots of the financial crisis in Washington’s political hothouse can make even an experienced politician nostalgic for a local zoning dispute. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Phil Angelides Delved Into the Root of the Housing Crisis. Now He Builds Homes," 14 July 2018 So how did someone like Sansa Stark—originally a whiny, spoiled hothouse orchid—manage to outlive so many of her doomed family members? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New study gives some handy tips on how to survive on Game of Thrones," 9 Dec. 2018 Based on its past history, a hothouse state would seemingly be one possibility. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers suggest we could tip into a hothouse Earth—here’s what that means," 10 Aug. 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 3


1771, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for hothouse

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce hothouse (audio) \

Kids Definition of hothouse

: a heated building enclosed by glass for growing plants

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More from Merriam-Webster on hothouse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hothouse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hothouse

Spanish Central: Translation of hothouse

Nglish: Translation of hothouse for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about hothouse

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recurring in steady succession

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