hot spot

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See also: hotspot and Hotspot



From hot +‎ spot.[1]



hot spot (plural hot spots)

  1. A location which has a higher temperature or amount of radiation than surrounding areas.
    • 2003, Nancy Berkoff, Vegan Microwave Cookbook, page 13:
      [Y]our microwave may have an area in which more energy is concentrated. To test for a hot spot, place sliced white bread across the bottom of your microwave, so that the slices are touching , forming a solid layer.
    1. (firefighting, forestry) A part of a forest fire which is burning actively.
    2. (geology, planetology) The surface manifestation of a plume of molten material that rises from deep in a celestial body's mantle.
      • 2020 June 18, Matt Kaplan, “Yellowstone’s supervolcano is a hot spot, but it may be calming down”, in The New York Times[1], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 21 April 2021:
        While researchers can see the path that Yellowstone burned as the hot spot migrated from Oregon across Idaho and into Wyoming, discerning one eruption from another has been a chore as most volcanic deposits are scattered across vast landscapes in a chaotic jumble.
    3. (nuclear physics) An area of high radioactive contamination.
    4. (optics) Synonym of heiligenschein (an optical phenomenon which creates a bright spot around the shadow of the viewer's head, when the surface on which the shadow falls has special optical characteristics)
    5. An infected lesion in dogs or other furry mammals caused by excessive itching
  2. (figuratively) A place notable for a high level of activity or danger.
    • 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Treasure Hunt—Flint’s Pointer”, in Treasure Island, London, Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, →OCLC, part VI (Captain Silver), page 265:
      Great guns! messmates, but if Flint was living, this would be a hot spot for you and me. Six they were, and six are we; and bones is what they are now.
    • 2010, Thomas [Ellis] Joiner[, Jr.], “Suicidal Behavior”, in Myths about Suicide, Cambridge, Mass., London: Harvard University Press, →ISBN, page 154:
      For instance, Toronto's Bloor Street Viaduct was, alas, a suicide hotspot – in fact, it was second only to the Golden Gate Bridge in terms of the number of bridge-related suicides.
    • 2013 November 27, Emily Jane O’Dell, “Deep cover [print version: International Herald Tribune Magazine, 2013, page 47]”, in The New York Times[2], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 9 December 2013:
      I might never have learned my name or met my birth family if I hadn't ended up in the hospital in Rhode Island in 2007, after traveling to a trifecta of malaria hotspots: Mali, Egypt and Colombia.
    1. A dangerous place of violent political unrest.
      Synonyms: flash point, trouble spot
    2. A lively and entertaining place, such as a nightclub.
    3. (computing)
      1. A part of an application that consumes a significant amount of execution time.
      2. (graphical user interface) A part of a control (an interactive interface element) that responds dynamically as a user moves a pointer over it (for example, a part of an image map that contains a hyperlink which can be clicked on with a cursor).
      3. (Internet, networking) A location in which Wi-Fi Internet access is available.
        Antonym: notspot
    4. (ecology) Short for biodiversity hotspot (a place with a significant level of biodiversity, particularly if the flora and fauna are threatened with loss of their habitat).
    5. (genetics) The region of a gene in which there is a higher than normal rate of mutation.

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  1. ^ hot spot, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2020; hot spot, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

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