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adjective sul·try \ˈsəl-trē\

Simple Definition of sultry

  • : very hot and humid

  • : attractive in a way that suggests or causes feelings of sexual desire

Full Definition of sultry


  1. 1a :  very hot and humid :  sweltering <a sultry day>b :  burning hot :  torrid <a sultry sun>

  2. 2a :  hot with passion or angerb :  exciting or capable of exciting strong sexual desire <sultry glances>

sul·tri·ly play \-trə-lē\ adverb
sul·tri·ness play \-trē-nəs\ noun

Examples of sultry

  1. In the one Manet Stephen owned, Young Woman Reclining in Spanish Costume (1862–1863), the plump young model provokes us with her sultry gaze, her awkward semi-recumbent position, her casually defiant cross-dressing in a male torero's shiny trousers, and the come-hither implication of her highlighted hands … —John Updike, New York Review of Books, 5 Oct. 2006

  2. As the fireflies entertain humans all summer long with a magical light show, they are actually cruising the sultry nights in search of love. “Male fireflies fly around flashing their advertisement,” says evolutionary ecologist Sara Lewis of Tufts, one of the authors of the study, which appeared in the journal Science recently. —Betsy Mason, Orlando Sentinel, 22 July 2001

  3. In an age when the gangsta rapper is king and pubescent boy and girl groups rule the charts with a tough … version of adolescent bubble-gum pop, Toni Braxton is an anomaly. Her sultry good looks, rich, husky contralto and ability to deliver a line with such mature conviction make her seem older, more experienced than her 26 years. —Gordon Chambers, Essence, April 1994

  4. She looked at him with a sultry glance.

  5. an actress with a sultry voice

Origin of sultry

obsolete English sulter to swelter, alteration of English swelter

First Known Use: 1594

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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