hot / hät/ • adj. (hot·ter, hot·test) 1. having a high degree of heat or a high temperature: it was hot inside the hall basking under a hot sun. ∎ feeling or producing an uncomfortable sensation of heat: she felt hot and her throat was parched. ∎ (of food or drink) prepared by heating and served without cooling. ∎ inf. (of an electric circuit) at a high voltage; live. ∎ inf. radioactive.2. (of food) containing or consisting of pungent spices or peppers that produce a burning sensation when tasted: a very hot dish cooked with green chili.3. passionately enthusiastic, eager, or excited: the idea had been nurtured in his hot imagination. ∎ lustful, amorous, or erotic: steamy bed scenes that may be too hot for young fans. ∎ angry, indignant, or upset: her reply came boiling out of her, hot with rage. ∎ (of music, esp. jazz) strongly rhythmical and excitingly played: hot salsa and lambada dancing.4. involving much activity, debate, or intense feeling: the environment has become a very hot issue. ∎ (esp. of news) fresh or recent and therefore of great interest: have I got some hot gossip for you! ∎ currently popular, fashionable, or in demand: they know the hottest dance moves. ∎ difficult to deal with; awkward or dangerous: he found my story simply too hot to handle. ∎ (of a hit or return in ball games) difficult for an opponent to deal with: fielding a hot grounder at third. ∎ Hunting (of the scent) fresh and strong, indicating that the quarry has passed recently. ∎ inf. (of goods) stolen and difficult to dispose of because easily identifiable. ∎ inf. (of a person) wanted by the police. ∎ (in children's games) very close to finding or guessing something.5. inf. knowledgeable or skillful: Tony is very hot on local history. ∎ good; promising: this is not so hot for business. ∎ (hot on) inf. considering as very important; strict about: local customs officers are hot on confiscations.PHRASES: get hot (of an athlete or team) suddenly become effective: he got hot at the right time and found himself in the title match.have the hots for inf. be sexually attracted to.hot and bothered see bother.hot and heavy inf. intense; with intensity: the competition became very hot and heavy.hot on the heels of following closely: the two new species come hot on the heels of the discovery of the Vu Quang ox.hot to trot inf. ready and eager to engage in an activity.hot under the collar inf. angry, resentful, or embarrassed.in hot pursuit following closely and eagerly.in hot water inf. in a situation of difficulty, trouble, or disgrace: he is in hot water for insensitive remarks he made.make it (or things) hot for someone inf. make things unpleasant for someone; persecute.DERIVATIVES: hot·ness n.hot·tish adj.