sul·try | \ ˈsəl-trē \
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 \ adverb
sultriness \ˈsəl-trē-nəs \ noun

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

While Kim Kardashian West‘s first KKW Fragrance shoot for her initial three fragrance launches was super minimal, sultry and romantic, the beauty mogul decided to go a totally different route for the next iteration of her fragrances. Kaitlyn Frey,, "See Kim Kardashian Shoot Her Sexy, Retro Campaign for Her Valentine's Day-Edition KKW Fragrances," 30 Jan. 2018 Confidence: Medium-High A LOOK AHEAD Both July 4 and Thursday are sultry summer days. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: It’s the hottest day of this heat wave, but it will stay steamy through Friday," 2 July 2018 Mexico’s World Cup is over, ending in a 2-0 loss to Brazil on a sultry evening at Cosmos Arena on Monday. Kevin Baxter,, "Brazil and Neymar eliminate Mexico from World Cup with a 2-0 victory," 2 July 2018 By all accounts, the New England Revolution didn’t bring their A-game to Gillette Stadium on Saturday, a sultry evening that pitted coach Brad Friedel’s club against middling D.C. United. Owen Pence,, "Revolution hold off D.C. United," 1 July 2018 The angular funk and sultry pop of the veteran Austin, Texas, band matched the blazing conditions. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Middle of the Map opening night: a few setbacks, a sultry show from Spoon," 30 June 2018 Last night, Orlando Bloom posted a promo video for his upcoming theater show, Killer Joe, on Instagram, and Perry left a sultry message about his backside as a comment on the photo. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Katy Perry Just Complimented Orlando Bloom's Ass on Instagram," 1 June 2018 The same proves true for Carmen Jones, a sultry tale of passion and violence fleshed out of the bones of a hot-blooded opera. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Carmen Jones': Theater Review," 28 June 2018 In the hot and sultry northwest corner of Louisiana, near the small town of Keithville, is Chimp Haven, 200 acres of salvation and a little bit of heaven for more than 250 chimpanzees. Rick Kogan,, "Lincoln Park Zoo partners with Chimp Haven — a place where chimps can get out of their lab cages and live free," 21 June 2018

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

10 Sep 2018

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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 \
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

Comments on sultry

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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