hot·​line | \ ˈhät-ˌlīn How to pronounce hotline (audio) \

Definition of hotline

1 : a direct telephone line in constant operational readiness so as to facilitate immediate communication
2 : a usually toll-free telephone service available to the public for some specific purpose a consumer hotline

Examples of hotline in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Crucially, a hotline could also be compatible with the way journalism is done today, when climate action remains so urgent. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 21 July 2022 The hotline is part of a statewide program run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Laurelin Kruse, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2022 Starting in mid-July, the hotline will be reachable simply by dialing 988. New York Times, 13 June 2022 Have conversations about email and phone scams, which evolve all the time, and share resources like the AARP scam hotline. Annaliese Griffin, Fortune, 29 July 2022 Anyone with information is asked to call the Gwinnett County Fire Investigations Section at 678-518-4890, or contact the Georgia Arson Control hotline at 800-282-5804. Matt Bruce, ajc, 26 July 2022 The Housing Commission has recently created a hotline for C Street Inn residents to call for assistance in finding a new rental unit. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 July 2022 The agency called attention to Washington’s public service phone hotline, reachable at 2-1-1, which can provide callers with information about cooling shelters and other services. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 26 July 2022 On Sunday, Rollins announced the launching of a hotline to report neo-Nazi activity following a series of white supremacist demonstrations in Boston. John Hilliard,, 25 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of hotline

1954, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About hotline

Time Traveler for hotline

Time Traveler

The first known use of hotline was in 1954

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near hotline

hot lead


hot link

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hotline

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hotline.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for hotline


hot·​line | \ ˈhät-ˌlīn How to pronounce hotline (audio) \

Kids Definition of hotline

: a direct telephone line for getting help in an emergency


variants: also hot line \ ˈhät-​ˌlīn How to pronounce hotline (audio) \

Medical Definition of hotline

: a usually toll-free telephone service available to the public for some specific purpose (as to receive advice or information about a particular subject or to talk confidentially about personal problems to a sympathetic listener) a poison control hotline suicide prevention hotlines


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!