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hothouse

[hot-hous]
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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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adjective
  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

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British Dictionary definitions for hothouse

hothouse

noun
    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

n.

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