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hot spot

or hotspot

a country or region where dangerous or difficult political situations exist or may erupt, especially where a war, revolution, or a belligerent attitude toward other countries exists or may develop:
In the 1960s, Vietnam became a hot spot.
Informal. any area or place of known danger, intrigue, dissension, or instability.
Informal. a nightclub.
Photography. an area of a negative or print revealing excessive light on that part of the subject.
a section of forest or woods where fires frequently occur.
an area hotter than the surrounding surface, as on the shell of a furnace.
Digital Technology. a place where users of portable computers or mobile devices can get wireless broadband access to the Internet or another network:
how to find free Wi-Fi hot spots.
Physics. an area of abnormally high radioactivity.
Geology. a region of molten rock below and within the lithosphere that persists long enough to leave a record of uplift and volcanic activity at the earth's surface.
Compare plume (def 10).
Genetics. a chromosome site or a section of DNA having a high frequency of mutation or recombination.
Veterinary Pathology. a moist, raw sore on the skin of a dog or cat caused by constant licking of an irritation from an allergic reaction, tangled coat, fleas, etc.
Origin of hot spot
An Americanism dating back to 1925-30


[hot-spot] /ˈhɒtˌspɒt/
verb (used with object), hot-spotted, hot-spotting.
to stop (a forest fire) at a hot spot.
First recorded in 1950-55; v. use of hot spot Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for hotspot

hot spot

an area of potential violence or political unrest
a lively nightclub or other place of entertainment
an area of great activity of a specific type: the world's economic hot spots
  1. any local area of high temperature in a part of an engine, etc
  2. part of the inlet manifold of a paraffin engine that is heated by exhaust gases to vaporize the fuel
(computing) a place where wireless internet, esp broadband, services are provided to users of portable computers through a wireless local area network, such as in an airport, railway station, or library
  1. a small area on the surface of or within a body with an exceptionally high concentration of radioactivity or of some chemical or mineral considered harmful
  2. a similar area that generates an abnormal amount of heat, as revealed by thermography
(genetics) a part of a chromosome that has a tendency for mutation or recombination
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hotspot

hot spot


also hotspot, 1888 as a skin irritation; 1931 as "nightclub;" 1938 in the firefighting sense; 1941 as "place of international conflict." See hot (adj.) + spot (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hotspot in Medicine

hot spot n.
A region in a gene in which there is a high rate of mutation. Its existence depends on the size of the region concerned, the readiness with which the mutation can be detected, and the possibility that selection against mutants at that point is less than that against mutants elsewhere.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hotspot in Science
hot spot  
A volcanic area that forms as a tectonic plate moves over a point heated from deep within the Earth's mantle. The source of the heat is thought to be the decay of radioactive elements. The Hawaiian Islands formed as a series of hot spots. See more at tectonic boundary.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hotspot in Culture

hot spot definition

A place deep within the Earth where hot magma rises to just underneath the surface, creating a bulge and volcanic activity (see volcano). The chain of Hawaiian Islands (see Hawaii) is thought to have been created by the movement of a tectonic plate over a hot spot.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for hotspot

hot spot

noun phrase

  1. tight spot (1932+)
  2. A dangerous place, esp a combat zone: Sarajevo is a hot spot again (1941+)
  3. A popular nightclub, esp one with sexy entertainment: became 52d Street's hot spot (1931+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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