hot house


noun, plural hothouses [hot-hou-ziz] .
an artificially heated greenhouse for the cultivation of tender plants.
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.
overprotected, artificial, or unnaturally delicate.

1505–15; hot + house Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hothouse (ˈhɒtˌhaʊs)
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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