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

Definition of sulfurous

1a : 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
2a : of, relating to, or dealing with the fire of hell : infernal
b : scathing, virulent sulfurous denunciations
c : profane, blasphemous sulfurous language

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Other Words from sulfurous

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 It’s these same sulfurous vapors that can sting your eyes. New York Times, 17 May 2021 The steamy, slightly sulfurous water (ranging from 99 to 104 degrees) felt great on our overused feet., 19 May 2021 For much of the twentieth century, its neighborhoods were a sulfurous mixture of tenements, engineering workshops, and heavy industry. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 Keeping the cloves whole also means that the sulfurous compounds in a garlic clove (or any allium) remain intact. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2021 Yes, that tropical fruit that shows up on cooking challenge shows all the time because of its strong, sulfurous scent. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, 15 Jan. 2021 The ground simmers at our feet as little mud volcanoes disgorge piles of hot, sulfurous muck. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, 20 Dec. 2020 The light bounced off the metalwork of the limousine and made the flowers burst into sulfurous blossom. Michael Hofmann, Harper's Magazine, 27 Oct. 2020 To vacate sulfurous coal fumes, chimneys sprouted all over London, prompting homeowners to build more spacious layouts and second and third stories. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sulfurous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sulfurous

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

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Time Traveler for sulfurous

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

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Statistics for sulfurous

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sulfurous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for sulfurous



English Language Learners Definition of sulfurous

chemistry : of, relating to, or containing sulfur


variants: also sulphurous \ ˈsəl-​fə-​rəs \

Kids Definition of sulfurous

: containing or suggesting sulfur a sulfurous odor


variants: or chiefly British sulphurous \ ˈsəl-​f(y)ə-​rəs, also especially for 1 ˌsəl-​ˈfyu̇r-​əs \

Medical Definition of sulfurous

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sulfurous

Nglish: Translation of sulfurous for Spanish Speakers


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