hot·house / ˈhätˌhous/ • n. a heated building, typically made largely of glass, for rearing plants out of season or in a climate colder than is natural for them. ∎ fig. an environment that encourages the rapid growth or development of someone or something, esp. in a stifling or intense way: [as adj.] the hothouse atmosphere of the college. • v. [tr.] educate (a child) to a high level at an earlier age than is usual.