Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
- a means of direct communication for use in emergency or crisis; specif., a direct telephone line between government leaders
- a telephone line to a social service agency, as a suicide prevention center
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- A direct and immediate telephone linkup, especially between heads of government, as for use in a crisis.
- A telephone line that gives quick and direct access to a source of information or help: “This 24-hour hot line has . . . volunteers on duty to talk to callers about personal problems” (New York).
hot line - Phrases/Idioms
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A telephone line that gives quick and direct access to a source of information or help. For example, Our state has an AIDS hot line in every county. This term was originally (and is still) used for a direct link between heads of government for use during a crisis, but was quickly extended to wider applications. [1950s]