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

  • intransitive verb To suffer from oppressive heat.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To exude (venom, for example).
  • noun A condition of oppressive heat.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

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

  • verb intransitive To suffer terribly from intense heat.
  • verb intransitive To perspire greatly from heat.
  • noun Intense heat.

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

  • verb be uncomfortably hot
  • verb suffer from intense heat


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

[Middle English swelteren, frequentative of swelten, to faint from heat, from Old English sweltan, to perish.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Frequentative form of swelt, from Old English sweltan.


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  • 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. - Local News 2010

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

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

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  • 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 2009

  • 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 Martin Weil 2010

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

    -06 faustfatale 2010

  • 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.

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

    Horseplay for Haiti Jen Wieczner 2011

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

    -06 greygirlbeast 2010

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

    Generation Sock Ralph Gardner Jr. 2011


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  • "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',, 7 February 2009.

    February 7, 2009