Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To suffer from oppressive heat.
  • transitive v. To affect with oppressive heat.
  • transitive v. Archaic To exude (venom, for example).
  • n. A condition of oppressive heat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To suffer terribly from intense heat.
  • v. To perspire greatly from heat.
  • n. Intense heat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To be overcome and faint with heat; to be ready to perish with heat.
  • intransitive v. To welter; to soak.
  • transitive v. To oppress with heat.
  • transitive v. To exude, like sweat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To faint with heat; be ready to perish with heat.
  • To perspire freely; sweat.
  • To oppress with heat.
  • To cause to exude like sweat, by or as if by heat.
  • [Sweltered venom is also explained as venom moistened with the animal's sweat.]
  • To soak; steep.

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

  • v. be uncomfortably hot
  • v. suffer from intense heat

Etymologies

Middle English swelteren, frequentative of swelten, to faint from heat, from Old English sweltan, to perish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Frequentative form of swelt, from Old English sweltan. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The record high "swelter" lasted from July 21-26, making the string of unabated heat the longest high temperatures ever recorded in Wayne County, and residents endured the heat without benefit of air conditioning.

    pal-item.com - Local News

  • At the rehearsal dinner, au contraire, I will have nothing between me and the elements except my kurta, and will have to hope for swelter.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • I'm a bit ill from the most recent increase in my Prazosin dosage, bad timing with this swelter.

    -06

  • I only managed 616 words on "January 28, 1926," before the swelter of the office got to me.

    Howard Hughes vs. the Amazon Sales Rank

  • This year the match was several weeks earlier than usual to avoid last year's swelter, Mr. Figueras explained.

    Horseplay for Haiti

  • I'm not arguing that one should swelter in woolen knee socks during July and August.

    Generation Sock

  • That was 1980, a year of such sizzle and swelter that it has become memorable to those who experienced it, and created widespread doubt that its misery could ever be matched.

    Record-breaking heat wilts National Book Festival crowd

  • Dallas hit 100 degrees for an unprecedented 70th day as Texas continued to swelter under record summer heat.

    What's News: World-Wide

  • Arpaio knows that the genteel class is willing to do just about anything to avoid having to serve time in the tents, where inmates are packed in like rats to swelter in the summer and get chilled to the bone in the winter.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » More Crazy Joe Arpaio Sh*t

  • Anyway, I'd swelter now, and tomorrow just load the car and leave fresh in the morning, right?

    Da Winnah and new stuff

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Melbourne's all-time weather record has been broken and the city is sweltering under the twin effects of high temperatures and hot north-west winds. The city hit 46 degrees at 2.27pm - the hottest day since the Bureau of Meteorology started keeping records 150 years ago. The previous record was 45.6, set on January 13, 1939 - a day otherwise known as Black Thursday."
    - Hamish Townsend, 'City swelters, records tumble in heat', theage.com.au, 7 February 2009.

    February 7, 2009