sul·​try | \ ˈsəl-trē How to pronounce sultry (audio) \
sultrier; sultriest

Definition of sultry

1a : very hot and humid : sweltering a sultry day
b : burning hot : torrid a sultry sun
2a : hot with passion or anger
b : exciting or capable of exciting strong sexual desire sultry glances

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Other Words from sultry

sultrily \ ˈsəl-​trə-​lē How to pronounce sultrily (audio) \ adverb
sultriness \ ˈsəl-​trē-​nəs How to pronounce sultriness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for sultry


damp, humid, muggy, sticky



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Examples of sultry in a Sentence

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 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 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 She looked at him with a sultry glance. an actress with a sultry voice
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Recent Examples on the Web

The endless blue waters, castaway vibes, aquatic adventures, and sultry heat are just a few of the things that make the Maldives the ultimate baecation getaway. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "Black Travel Vibes: Endless Blues Make The Maldives The Ultimate Baecation Getaway," 26 June 2019 Cardi has yet to comment on the indictment on her social media, but on Friday, hours after the news broke, the rapper shared a sultry photo of herself dressed up in Fenty lingerie for her upcoming film Hustlers. Helen Murphy,, "Cardi B Cuddles Up with 11-Month-Old Daughter Kulture and Takes the Stage a Day After Indictment," 23 June 2019 The event, which began at around 7pm under sultry weather, was attended by over 8,000 guests, with around 10,000 security personnel specially deployed in and around the venue. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "Narendra Modi begins his second term as India’s prime minister," 30 May 2019 Without revealing a single shoe, Bey managed to present a sporty yet sultry vision of things to come. Vogue, "Beyoncé Proves She’s Music’s Ultimate Sneakerhead," 26 Apr. 2019 Since the second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones aired, the internet has been ablaze with critics of the sultry scene. Teen Vogue, "Outrage at Arya Stark's "Game of Thrones" Sex Scene Is Misplaced," 22 Apr. 2019 Next, heavily line the top lid with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, winging out on the end for a sultry cat-eye. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nathalie Emmanuel and Maisie Williams Both Wore the Urban Decay Game of Thrones Collab," 4 Apr. 2019 Strawberry is def a sunny, sultry shade, and will catch the light wherever. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Eva Mendes Just Got Strawberry Highlights and They Are Absolutely Stunning," 17 Apr. 2019 Those events helped radicalize Simone, whose irreproducible arc took her from playing in church to studying at Julliard to jazz clubs and then fame, and whose personal journey ranged from religion to sultry romance to full-throated, righteous rage. The Seattle Times, "Look Ahead: The hottest Seattle events for April 2019," 5 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sultry.' 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 sultry

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sultry

obsolete English sulter to swelter, alteration of English swelter

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Dictionary Entries near sultry



sul tasto




Sulu Archipelago

Statistics for sultry

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for sultry

The first known use of sultry was in 1594

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More Definitions for sultry



English Language Learners Definition of sultry

: very hot and humid
: attractive in a way that suggests or causes feelings of sexual desire


sul·​try | \ ˈsəl-trē How to pronounce sultry (audio) \
sultrier; sultriest

Kids Definition of sultry

: very hot and humid sultry summer weather

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More from Merriam-Webster on sultry

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sultry

Spanish Central: Translation of sultry

Nglish: Translation of sultry for Spanish Speakers

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