Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

sultry

play
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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of sultry

sultrier

sultriest

  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>

sultrily

play \-trə-lē\ adverb

sultriness

play \-trē-nəs\ noun

Examples of sultry in a sentence

  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 and Etymology of sultry

obsolete English sulter to swelter, alteration of English swelter


First Known Use: 1594

Other Climate/Meteorology Terms


SULTRY Defined for Kids

sultry

play
adjective sul·try \ˈsəl-trē\

Definition of sultry for Students

sultrier

sultriest

  1. :  very hot and humid <sultry summer weather>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sultry? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of striking ability or excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

hiemal brumal vernal estival
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ