sulfurous

adjective

sul·​fu·​rous ˈsəl-fə-rəs How to pronounce sulfurous (audio)
-fyə-,
 also (especially for sense 1a)  ˌsəl-ˈfyu̇r-əs
variants or chiefly British sulphurous
1
a
: of, relating to, or containing sulfur especially with a lower valence than sulfuric compounds
sulfurous esters
b
: resembling or emanating from sulfur and especially burning sulfur
2
a
: of, relating to, or dealing with the fire of hell : infernal
b
: scathing, virulent
sulfurous denunciations
c
: profane, blasphemous
sulfurous language
sulfurously adverb
sulfurousness noun
Is it sulfur or sulphur?: Usage Guide

The spelling sulfur predominates in U.S. technical usage, while both sulfur and sulphur are common in general usage. British usage tends to favor sulphur for all applications. The same pattern is seen in most of the words derived from sulfur.

Examples of sulfurous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The skunk ape, alias swamp ape, apparently smells like bad eggs and goat dung, an odor attributed to its poor bathing habits and penchant for sulfurous alligator caves. Miami Herald Archives, Miami Herald, 20 May 2024 Scientists think sulfurous compounds such as sulfur dioxide might have played a key role on early Earth that eventually paved the way for life to form. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 15 Mar. 2024 The New York chef Victoria Blamey, who grew up in Chile, hated cabbage and its sulfurous smell. Kim Severson, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2024 Spoiled egg salad will smell sour or have a sulfurous odor like rotten eggs. Lisa Cericola, Southern Living, 27 Feb. 2024 The lightly sulfurous springs have been frequented since the Etruscans. Jackie Burrell, The Mercury News, 26 Feb. 2024 Black gold had been gushing there since the nineteen-twenties, and a sulfurous odor hung in the air. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 Duffy and Haworth speculate that on remote planets, communities of purple bacteria could swell in black sulfurous oceans, or spread in films around local sources of hydrogen sulfide. WIRED, 2 Oct. 2023 In particular, the slower emptying of the stomach allows food to react with stomach acid for longer, resulting in sulfurous burps. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 24 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sulfurous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sulfurous was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near sulfurous

Cite this Entry

“Sulfurous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sulfurous. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

sulfurous

adjective
sul·​fu·​rous
variants also sulphurous
1
: of, relating to, or containing sulfur
2
a
: of, relating to, or dealing with the fire of hell : infernal
b
: fiery sense 3a, inflamed
a sulfurous sermon
c
: profane sense 2, blasphemous
sulfurous language

Medical Definition

sulfurous

adjective
sul·​fu·​rous
variants or chiefly British sulphurous
ˈsəl-f(y)ə-rəs, also especially for 1 ˌsəl-ˈfyu̇r-əs
1
: of, relating to, or containing sulfur especially with a lower valence than sulfuric compounds
sulfurous esters
2
: resembling or emanating from sulfur and especially burning sulfur

More from Merriam-Webster on sulfurous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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