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[hot-hous] /ˈhɒtˌhaʊs/

noun, plural hothouses
[hot-hou-ziz] /ˈhɒtˌhaʊ zɪz/ (Show IPA)
an artificially heated greenhouse for the cultivation of tender plants.
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.
overprotected, artificial, or unnaturally delicate.


an environment where there is great pressure: showjumping is a tough, hothouse world
(modifier) (informal, often censorious) sensitive or delicate: a hothouse temperament

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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