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Highly politicized or emotionally charged. Often used in the phrase "a hot button issue." Primarily heard in US. Wealth redistribution is a hot button issue on both sides of the political aisle.
a hot buttonAMERICAN, INFORMAL
COMMON If a subject or problem is a hot button, people have very strong feelings about it. If crime is the city's issue most known to outsiders, rent control is the city's hot button for its residents. Note: Hot-button can be used before a noun. These controversial, hot-button issues create hazards for politicians.