In the context of below given sentence what is the meaning of this idiom / phrase ?

The situation in Haiti was getting hotter by the minute.

This is a MCQ question with 4 options out of I managed to rule out two as they were completely irrelevant. I am confused between these two :

  1. Growing in importance

  2. Deteriorating rapidly

I tried to google for its meaning but couldn't find anywhere expect a mention in a book by Sam Glucksberg in this sentence : She was getting hotter with every minute passing. The meaning here implied is that she was getting angry with every minute passing which is close to my second option but since I couldn't confirm it from another source I am putting my query here. By the by if I put aside the reference which I gave and just look at the sentence, option one seems more appeasing, atleast to my ears.


1 Answer 1


The operative meaning in that sentence relates to this:

heat n
7.a. Intensity, as of passion, emotion, color, appearance, or effect.

This kind of intensity in a social or civil situation contributes to group or political instability (as in riots and other forms of civil unrest), so the answer would be (2) "deteriorating rapidly."

  • A related expression is to refer to the police as "the heat", as in something you might hear a bad guy say in a movie "They're bringing in the heat, we have to go!" -- which is to say, the situation is "getting too hot" for the criminals.
    – Andrew
    May 27, 2017 at 14:35

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