View synonyms for hothouse


[ hot-hous ]


, plural hot·hous·es [hot, -hou-ziz].
  1. an artificially heated greenhouse for the cultivation of tender plants.


  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.


/ ˈhɒtˌhaʊs /


    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 pressure

    showjumping is a tough, hothouse world

  2. informal.
    modifier sensitive or delicate

    a hothouse temperament

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Word History and Origins

Origin of hothouse1

First recorded in 1505–15; hot + house

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Example Sentences

It’s at a level not seen since millions of years ago when the Earth was a hothouse ocean-inundated planet, as the Associated Press put it.

Meanwhile, our CO2 level is between the Pliocene and the Miocene of 10 million years ago, and we risk an Eocene hothouse not seen in 40 million years.

I was thrust into an intellectual hothouse of blackboard discussions, and seminars that would always go way over the allotted time that helped me momentarily forget why I was there.

He added that those stars from Hollywood's Golden Age would not have "survived" in the hothouse-fame environment of today.

If Saudi Arabia is a hothouse flower, then Americans have helped build the greenhouse.

Hothouse by Boris Kachka A romp through the history of venerable publisher Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Outside the hothouse of that environment, he is making sense—though his is a message that many conservatives may not want to hear.

And Mitt, obviously rattled by the Gingrich “surge,” seemed like a delicate hothouse flower.

Honorine has her little house, a garden, and a splendid hothouse, for a rent of five hundred francs a year.

"He is a very precious hothouse flower," said Dennis sarcastically.

He is engaged in growing and wholesale shipping of hothouse and garden vegetables.

Of course these were not fragrant like hothouse violets, but they had quite as beautiful a color.

She slept a great deal, and was fed constantly and her crystal palace was like a little hothouse.


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hotheadedhothouse lamb