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noun, plural hot·hous·es [hot-hou-ziz] /ˈhɒtˌhaʊ zɪz/.
  1. an artificially heated greenhouse for the cultivation of tender plants.
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  1. of, relating to, or noting a plant grown in a hothouse, or so fragile as to be capable of being grown only in a hothouse.
  2. overprotected, artificial, or unnaturally delicate.
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Origin of hothouse

First recorded in 1505–15; hot + house
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hothouse

bed, field, nursery, terrace, patio, greenhouse, plot, conservatory, patch, oasis, enclosure, hothouse

Examples from the Web for hothouse

Contemporary Examples of hothouse

Historical Examples of hothouse

British Dictionary definitions for hothouse


    1. a greenhouse in which the temperature is maintained at a fixed level above that of the surroundings
    2. (as modifier)a hothouse plant
    1. an environment that encourages rapid development
    2. (as modifier)a hot-house atmosphere
  1. an environment where there is great pressureshowjumping is a tough, hothouse world
  2. (modifier) informal, often censorious sensitive or delicatea hothouse temperament
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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

Word Origin and History for hothouse


mid-15c., "bath house," from hot + house (n.). In 17c. a euphemism for "brothel" (cf. massage parlor); the meaning "glass-roofed structure for raising plants" is from 1749. Figurative use by 1802.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper