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

Bimbo stormed into the jacks, thrummed a sulfurous piss into the gurgling trough. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "The Alps," 22 July 2019 The nonprofit utility company was formed in 1966 to supply water to Midway residents after reports of sulfurous well water and that many homes had outhouses near wells. Martin E. Comas,, "Midway residents call hundreds of new homes being built around their historic community a ‘mixed blessing’," 22 July 2019 The landscape of Kamchatka Peninsula steams with sulfurous vapor, its 29 active volcanoes forming a hazy backdrop for the region’s herds of reindeer and rivers of salmon. Sophia Chen, WIRED, "New Analysis Techniques Unearth a Trove of Unusual Minerals," 1 July 2019 Further east is the geothermal area of Geysir, a sulfurous landscape of mud pots, mineral formations, and the spouting Strokkur geyser. National Geographic, "Iceland Hiking Adventure," 12 June 2019 Today the caldera is home to a regional park, towns, suburbs of Naples, and a cratered surface that occasionally trembles with earthquakes and sends belches of sulfurous gas into the air. Mary Beth Griggs, The Verge, "An Italian volcano’s massive eruptions fit a pattern — and the cycle may have restarted," 14 Nov. 2018 While the immediate area surrounding Novarupta is not populous, the 1912 eruption formed an ash cloud that rained sulfurous ash across southern Alaska and parts of Canada. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "8 of the World’s Most Dangerous Volcanoes, According to Experts," 6 June 2018 High-velocity jets of steam, along with sulfurous volcanic fumes and small gritty rock debris, began to blow out from the pit in May of that year. Wendell Duffield, Scientific American, "Kilauea’s Next Eruptions May Mirror a Big One in Its Past," 15 May 2018 Also, his caustic loathing of his father, David (Hugo Weaving, sulfurous and brilliant), whose ashes Patrick will collect in New York. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Patrick Melrose’ Review: The Right Way to Do Wrong," 10 May 2018

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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Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for sulfurous

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

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sulfurous

Spanish Central: Translation of sulfurous

Nglish: Translation of sulfurous for Spanish Speakers

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