hot spot

or hot·spot

[ hot-spot ]
See synonyms for hot spot on
  1. 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.

  2. Informal. any area or place of known danger, intrigue, dissension, or instability.

  1. Informal. a nightclub.

  2. Photography. an area of a negative or print revealing excessive light on that part of the subject.

  3. a section of forest or woods where fires frequently occur.

  4. an area hotter than the surrounding surface, as on the shell of a furnace.

  5. 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.

  6. Physics. an area of abnormally high radioactivity.

  7. 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).

  8. Genetics. a chromosome site or a section of DNA having a high frequency of mutation or recombination.

  9. 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

Words Nearby hot spot

Other definitions for hot-spot (2 of 2)

[ hot-spot ]

verb (used with object),hot-spot·ted, hot-spot·ting.
  1. to stop (a forest fire) at a hot spot.

Origin of hot-spot

First recorded in 1950–55; v. use of hot spot Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use hot spot in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hot spot

hot spot

  1. an area of potential violence or political unrest

  2. a lively nightclub or other place of entertainment

  1. an area of great activity of a specific type: the world's economic hot spots

    • any local area of high temperature in a part of an engine, etc

    • part of the inlet manifold of a paraffin engine that is heated by exhaust gases to vaporize the fuel

  2. 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

  3. med

    • 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

    • a similar area that generates an abnormal amount of heat, as revealed by thermography

  4. 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

Scientific definitions for hot spot

hot spot

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for hot spot

hot spot

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.