from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal A problem that is so controversial or sensitive that those handling it risk unpleasant consequences: gun control—a political hot potato.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A child's game in which players pass a ball or other item between them, with the object of avoiding being left holding the item when time expires.
  • n. An awkward or delicate problem with which nobody wants to be associated.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a difficult situation


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • They had, in fact, dropped their mission to Trivas like a hot potato and come to rescue me.

    Miracle Workers

  • To give you a notion of the sort of creatures they are, she said that their last parlor-maid, upon her sister's complaining at dinner that the potatoes were cold, had flounced out of the room, and returned bringing from the kitchen one hot potato stuck upon a kitchen fork.

    Further Records, 1848-1883: A Series of Letters


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