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hot line

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noun
  1. a direct telecommunications link, as a telephone line or Teletype circuit, enabling immediate communication between heads of state in an international crisis: the hot line between Washington and Moscow.
  2. a telephone service enabling people to talk confidentially with someone about a personal problem or crisis.
  3. a telephone line providing customers or clients with direct access to a company or professional service.
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Also hotline.

Origin of hot line

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Idioms and Phrases with hot line

hot line

A telephone line that gives quick and direct access to a source of information or help. For example, Our state has an AIDS hot line in every county. This term was originally (and is still) used for a direct link between heads of government for use during a crisis, but was quickly extended to wider applications. [1950s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.