hot house

hothouse

[hot-hous]
noun, plural hothouses [hot-hou-ziz] .
1.
an artificially heated greenhouse for the cultivation of tender plants.
adjective
2.
of, pertaining to, or noting a plant grown in a hothouse, or so fragile as to be capable of being grown only in a hothouse.
3.
overprotected, artificial, or unnaturally delicate.

Origin:
1505–15; hot + house

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hothouse (ˈhɒtˌhaʊs)
 
n
1.  a.  a greenhouse in which the temperature is maintained at a fixed level above that of the surroundings
 b.  (as modifier): a hothouse plant
2.  a.  an environment that encourages rapid development
 b.  (as modifier): a hot-house atmosphere
3.  an environment where there is great pressure: showjumping is a tough, hothouse world
4.  informal, censorious often (modifier) sensitive or delicate: a hothouse temperament

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hothouse
1451, "bath house," from hot + house. In 17c. a euphemism for "brothel" (cf. massage parlor); the meaning "glass-roofed structure for raising plants" is from 1749.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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