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See more synonyms for sultry on Thesaurus.com
adjective, sul·tri·er, sul·tri·est.
  1. oppressively hot and close or moist; sweltering: a sultry day.
  2. oppressively hot; emitting great heat: the sultry sun.
  3. characterized by or associated with sweltering heat: sultry work in the fields.
  4. characterized by or arousing passion: sultry eyes.
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Origin of sultry

1585–95; sult(e)r (variant of swelter) + -y1
Related formssul·tri·ly, adverbsul·tri·ness, nounun·sul·try, adjective


See more synonyms for sultry on Thesaurus.com
1. oppressive, stifling, humid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sultriness


adjective -trier or -triest
  1. (of weather or climate) oppressively hot and humid
  2. characterized by or emitting oppressive heat
  3. displaying or suggesting passion; sensualsultry eyes
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Derived Formssultrily, adverbsultriness, noun

Word Origin

C16: from obsolete sulter to swelter + -y 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sultriness



1590s, "oppressively hot, close and moist" (of weather), from obsolete verb sulter "to swelter" (1580s), alteration of swelter. Figurative sense of "hot with lust" is attested from 1704; of women, "lascivious, sensual, arousing desire" it is recorded from 1940.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper