Definition of hot water in US English:

hot water


  • 1Water at a high temperature, either naturally as in a hot spring, or artificially heated for cookery, washing, or other purposes; (in later use) specifically heated water available on tap (in a home, hotel, etc.).

  • 2Figurative informal. A state of discomfort, difficulty, or painful uncertainty; disgrace, trouble. Chiefly in "in hot water".

  • 3In plural Alcoholic spirits obtained by distillation; spirituous liquors. Now historical.


Old English; earliest use found in Lacnunga. From hot + water.


hot water

/hɒt ˈwɔːtə/