- to suffer from oppressive heat.
- to oppress with heat.
- Archaic. to exude, as venom.
- a sweltering condition.
Origin of swelter
Examples from the Web for swelter
There no longer is anywhere to hide from the swelter and welter of the American id.Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea, the ‘Sex Superbug,’ Is Not Worse Than AIDS
May 7, 2013
The beat of the sun from above and the swelter of dust from below were overpowering.The Great Boer War
Arthur Conan Doyle
The city, hot as an oven, seemed to swelter in the stifling night.The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 6
Guy de Maupassant
"But in hot weather like this it must make you swelter," continued Elmer.Endurance Test
How far away now seems the welter and swelter of the city, the hectic sophistication of the streets.Ballads of a Bohemian
Robert W. Service
The poor children have to swelter in knitted socks, knitted hoods, and knitted sweaters, just because they come from America.The Spell of the Hawaiian Islands and the Philippines
- (intr) to suffer under oppressive heat, esp to sweat and feel faint
- (tr) archaic to exude (venom)
- (tr) rare to cause to suffer under oppressive heat
- a sweltering condition (esp in the phrase in a swelter)
- oppressive humid heat
Word Origin and History for swelter
c.1400, frequentative of swelten "be faint (especially with heat)," late 14c., from Old English sweltan "to die," from Proto-Germanic *swel- (cf. Old Saxon sweltan "to die," Old Norse svelta "to put to death, starve," Gothic sviltan "to die"), originally "to burn slowly," hence "to be overcome with heat or fever;" also the source of Old English swelan "to burn," from PIE root *swel- (2) "to shine, beam" (see Selene). For specialization of words meaning "to die," cf. starve. Related: Sweltered; sweltering.