from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To die.
  • v. To succumb or be overcome with emotion, heat, etc.; to faint or swelter

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of swell.
  • intransitive v. To die; to perish.
  • intransitive v. To faint; to swoon.
  • transitive v. To overpower, as with heat; to cause to faint; to swelter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become faint; faint; die.
  • To faint with heat; swelter.
  • To cause to die; kill; destroy.
  • To cause to faint; overpower, as with heat; swelter.
  • n. An obsolete preterit and past participle of swell.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English sweltan.


  • Which like a feuer fit through all his body swelt.

    The Faerie Queene — Volume 01

  • Well Ethen if you think that why you will be a 100 mi. offen the track because Ethen I and Prudence aint the kind that gets a swelt hed over being ast any wares like some of are naybers up here when they are ast any wares so you see Ethen even if we had been ast any wares we wouldnt of had no swelt hed.

    A Parody Outline of History

  • Well Ethen you will be surprised O.K. to hear I & the wife took a little trip down to Boston last wk. to a T. party & I guess you are thinking we will be getting the swelt hed over being ast to a T. party.

    A Parody Outline of History

  • Piper be hang'd, knave! look, the dancers swelt them.

    Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age

  • But he shall never have better eating fellows, if he would swelt his heart.

    A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Volume 6

  • With the old sit in his shoulders, and the new satin atlas onder his uxter, erning his breadth to the swelt of his proud and, picking up the emberose of the lizod lights, his tail toiled of spume and spawn, and the bulk of him, and hulk of him as whenever it was he reddled a ruad to riddle a rede from the sphinxish pairc while Ede was a guardin, ere love a side issue.

    Finnegans Wake

  • Well after a while we woke the Boston fish up & we all went home & I was feeling pretty good on acct. it being such a nice night & all the stars being out & etc. & when I got home I said Prudence guess what hapend & she says I can guess & I says Prudence I have been elect it a minit man & she says well go on up stares & sleep it off & I says sleep what off & she says stop talking so loud do you want the naybers to wake up & I says whos talking loud & she says o go to bed & I says I am talking in conversational tones & she says well you must be conversing with somebody in Boston & I says o you mean that little blond on Beecon St. & Ethen she went a 1,000,000 mi. up in the air & I seen it wasnt no use to try & tell her that the reason I was feeling good was on acct. having drank a Boston swelt hed to sleep without feeling any affects & I bet the next time I get a chanct I am going to get snooted right because a fello gets blamed just as much if he doesnt feel the affects as if he was brought home in a stuper & I was just kidding her about that blond on Beecon St. Some women dont know when they are well off Ethen & I bet that guy from Bostons Tom Duffy I mean wife wishes she was in Prudences shoes instead of her having married a man what cant holt no more than a qt. without being brought home in a stuper.

    A Parody Outline of History

  • 9 Which like a fever-fit through all his body swelt. swelt > broiled

    The Faerie Queene — Volume 01


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  • "Isabella, or the Pot of Basil": a very odd poem, but it was an early work and it does, one might say, grow on you.

    June 21, 2015

  • hence, swelter

    June 20, 2015

  • This word is used by John Keats in a striking, and perhaps surprising, condemnation of capitalist exploitation of workers, colonial exploitation, and cruelty to animals:

    With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt,

    Enriched from ancestral merchandize;

    And for them many a weary hand did swelt

    In torched mines and noisy factories,

    And many once proud-quiver'd loins did melt

    In blood from stinging whip; – with hollow eyes

    Many all day in dazzling river stood,

    To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.

    For them the Ceylon diver held his breath,

    And went all naked to the hungry shark;

    For them his ears gush'd blood; for them in death

    The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark

    Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe

    A thousand men in troubles wide and dark:

    Half-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,

    That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.

    "Isabella" (1819), stanzas 14 and 15

    June 20, 2015