Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sweltering

[swel-ter-ing]
See more synonyms for sweltering on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. suffering oppressive heat.
  2. characterized by oppressive heat; sultry.
Show More

Origin of sweltering

First recorded in 1565–75; swelter + -ing2
Related formsswel·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·swel·ter·ing, adjective

swelter

[swel-ter]
verb (used without object)
  1. to suffer from oppressive heat.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to oppress with heat.
  2. Archaic. to exude, as venom.
Show More
noun
  1. a sweltering condition.
Show More

Origin of swelter

1375–1425; late Middle English swelt(e)ren (v.), equivalent to swelt(en) to be overcome with heat (Old English sweltan to die; cognate with Old Norse svelta, Gothic swiltan) + -eren -er6
Related formsun·swel·tered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

humidburningoppressivescorchingstuffysizzlingairlesstorridstiflingbakingsultryperspiringbroilingclosestewingfierystickysweatysweltry

Examples from the Web for sweltering

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for sweltering

sweltering

adjective
  1. oppressively hot and humida sweltering day
Show More
Derived Formsswelteringly, adverb

swelter

verb
  1. (intr) to suffer under oppressive heat, esp to sweat and feel faint
  2. (tr) archaic to exude (venom)
  3. (tr) rare to cause to suffer under oppressive heat
Show More
noun
  1. a sweltering condition (esp in the phrase in a swelter)
  2. oppressive humid heat
Show More

Word Origin

C15 swelten, from Old English sweltan to die; related to Old Norse svelta to starve, Old High German swelzan to burn with passion; see sultry
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 sweltering

swelter

v.

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper