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The question
In my native language we have two ways of saying the food is hot. One meaning spicy and one meaning too/very warm.

I am now looking for a way to use this sentence:

The food is ...{single word here}...

I want the meaning to be clear (the food is warm to the point where caution is recommended). If there is not a single word for this that is also fine, I could then at least start looking for better workarounds.

Thoughts so far
I always used 'hot' but that can easily be confused with spicy so I am currently using workarounds.

'Warm' can mean 'nice and warm' or 'too warm', so I am not satisfied by that either.

  • You may use "oven-like" or "blazing hot". – Lucian Sava Sep 11 '14 at 8:44
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    Any time I want to warn someone, I lead with a warning: "Watch out / be careful, it's still hot." – snailboat Sep 11 '14 at 9:09
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    Agree with snailplane. Saying still hot makes it clear which sense of hot you're referring to. – Damkerng T. Sep 11 '14 at 13:30
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This is a classic problem in English. There is no concise, easily-recognized way to say that food is hot in the sense of the temperature being high. People often give long explanations, like, "This sausage is really hot. I mean temperature-hot, not spicy-hot."

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When you use an adjective hot with food, the first meaning in English that would come to my mind is, the foot is warm to the point (as you said). If there are lots of chillies put in it, the food becomes spicy.

However, the word hot is also used to say the food it spicy but then, the usage, to avoid ambiguity, could be --The food that tastes hot OR The food very hot in taste. A blog from Wired reads that as the headline.

Why Does Spicy Food Taste Hot?

You may use other synonyms as Lucian Sava says in addition to scalding (mainly for liquid I guess, boiling, sizzling (as in a sizzling steak) etc..

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