from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A connection between two files that automatically updates one whenever the other is updated.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Internet A hyperlink to a resource on another server.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

hot +‎ link


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  • "Bandwidth theft or "hotlinking" is direct linking to a web site's files (images, video, etc.). An example would be using an tag to display a JPEG image you found on someone else's web page so it will appear on your own site, eBay auction listing, weblog, forum message post, etc."


    February 1, 2008

  • Are those terms strictly equivalent? I'd say these were hotlinks, but not theft because they're permitted:

    February 1, 2008

  • Hotlink, like hyperlink, used to be HTML speak for what is now just a link. Curious to see it's changed in meaning.

    February 1, 2008

  • I don't think they're strictly equivalent, no. Depends on whether permission is granted.

    Back in the day, when people called plain 'ol links "hotlinks," I never got that. What then is a cold link?

    February 1, 2008

  • I imagine it has something to do with hot in the sense of live, like an electric circuit can be hot. In other words, click it and something happens, you're linked to other information. By contrast, in the cold, dead world of print, a "link" (or citation) does nothing; you have to do the work.

    Then again, it could be that someone realized something like 99% of all Web traffic would shortly be porn, and so they thought it would improve their search-engine scores to use "hot". Then the opposite would presumably be homelylinks

    February 1, 2008