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.
    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 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, 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)
  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 702939134, 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 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363, 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–present.

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