Informal. a situation or issue that is difficult, unpleasant, or risky to deal with.
British Informal. a baked potato.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use hot potato in a sentence
Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.U.S. and Israel to form team to solve Jerusalem consulate dispute | Barak Ravid | October 20, 2021 | Axios
However, the site has been a political hot potato, with support for it swaying in response to local opposition and state and federal leadership.Finding homes for the waste that will (probably) outlive humanity | Katie McLean | October 21, 2020 | MIT Technology Review
It's now a political hot potato in the world of Web server hosts.
She came to school toting “shame-based food” like borscht, hot potato salad, and cotletten-and-ketchup sandwiches.
I think this was a preemptive move by the Pentagon to unload a political hot potato.
In that process, responsibility for the selection of Palin is the real hot potato.
Add an equal amount of freshly cooked hot potato that has been put through a potato ricer or mashed fine.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 3 | Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
He did not seem to know what to do with it, and shifted it from one hand to another as though it were a hot potato.Baseball Joe, Captain of the Team | Lester Chadwick
He took up the book; but seeing the owner suddenly appear, he dropped it like a hot potato.English As We Speak It in Ireland | P. W. Joyce
She'd drop old Tippengray like a hot potato and stick to me like one of those adhesive plasters that have holes in them.The Squirrel Inn | Frank R. Stockton
He more than once went up to the fire for a hot potato, but each time the punch was offered him he wisely declined taking it.Ernest Bracebridge | William H. G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for hot potato
slang an awkward or delicate matter
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with hot potato
A problem so controversial and sensitive that it is risky to deal with. For example, Gun control is a political hot potato. This term, dating from the mid-1800s, alludes to the only slightly older expression drop like a hot potato, meaning “to abandon something or someone quickly” (lest one be burned). The idiom alludes to the fact that cooked potatoes retain considerable heat because they contain a lot of water.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.