Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

hot potato

See more synonyms for hot potato on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. Informal. a situation or issue that is difficult, unpleasant, or risky to deal with.
  2. British Informal. a baked potato.
Show More

Origin of hot potato

First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hot potato

uproar, crunch, dilemma, catastrophe, emergency, pressure, mess, impasse, confrontation, situation, trouble, deadlock, change, disaster, peril, risk, probability, exposure, insecurity, jeopardy

British Dictionary definitions for hot potato

hot potato

noun
  1. slang an awkward or delicate matter
Show More
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

Idioms and Phrases with hot potato

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.

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