sultry

adjective

sul·​try ˈsəl-trē How to pronounce sultry (audio)
sultrier; sultriest
1
a
: very hot and humid : sweltering
a sultry day
b
: burning hot : torrid
a sultry sun
2
a
: hot with passion or anger
b
: exciting or capable of exciting strong sexual desire
sultry glances
sultrily adverb
sultriness 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
Recent Examples on the Web The mom of three wore a sultry maroon lip and her hair in loose waves. Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 15 Feb. 2024 The team created sultry looks to pair with the corsets and catsuits that were sent down the runway. Essence, 13 Feb. 2024 But this reminded me more of a Baz Luhrmann movie come to life — as sultry as a Prohition-era speakeasy but as comfortable as a stylish friend’s penthouse. Lane Nieset, Travel + Leisure, 7 Feb. 2024 However, with the support of Shug (Taraji P. Henson), a sultry jazz singer, and Sofia (Danielle Brooks), her stepdaughter, Celie finds strength to survive through sisterhood. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Jan. 2024 Matching her lipstick was a pedicure in the same sultry red. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 6 Feb. 2024 The first onscreen spy-duo resembles the sultry sentiments and depictions of what audiences would expect from the cast of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Malik Peay, Essence, 2 Feb. 2024 Either one sounds a grounding note of contrast in this sultry ode to summer. Emily Horton, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Chita Rivera, the sultry singer, dancer and actress who commanded the Broadway stage for more than a half-century, has died. Chris Koseluk, The Hollywood Reporter, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

obsolete English sulter to swelter, alteration of English swelter

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sultry was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near sultry

Cite this Entry

“Sultry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sultry. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

sultry

adjective
sul·​try ˈsəl-trē How to pronounce sultry (audio)
sultrier; sultriest
1
: very hot and humid
a sultry day
2
: burning hot
sultry sun
3
: exciting or capable of exciting romantic passion
sultry glances
sultrily adverb
sultriness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on sultry

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