swelter

verb
swel·​ter | \ˈswel-tər \
sweltered; sweltering\ ˈswel-​t(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of swelter 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to suffer, sweat, or be faint from heat

2 : to become exceedingly hot in summer, the place swelters

transitive verb

1 : to oppress with heat

2 archaic : exude sweltered venom— William Shakespeare

swelter

noun

Definition of swelter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a state of oppressive heat

2 : welter

3 : an excited or overwrought state of mind : sweat in a swelter

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Examples of swelter in a Sentence

Verb

We were sweltering in the summer heat.

Noun

the set designer spent the entire week before opening night in a swelter

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The area was hit by gusty winds that tossed embers and much of Southern California sweltered as temperatures topped 100 degrees in many areas. Fox News, "The Latest: New wildfires hit California, burning homes," 7 July 2018 The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is investigating the death of a 63-year-old U.S. Postal Service carrier who was found dead in her truck amid sweltering temperatures last week, the department said Monday. Alejandra Reyes-velarde, latimes.com, "Death of postal carrier found in her truck during heat wave in Woodland Hills is under investigation," 10 July 2018 Meanwhile, despite sweltering weather conditions north suburban residents gathered in Highland Park, Glenview, Arlington Heights and Barrington for their own rallies and marches. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "North suburban residents rally against border separations: 'I’ve never seen this before'," 2 July 2018 To cope with dry desert climate, oryx have a remarkable tolerance for sweltering heat and are able to withstand an internal body temperature of 116 degrees Fahrenheit, minimizing loss of water through sweat. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 Many other areas were sweltering in record triple-digit temperatures earlier. CBS News, "Southern California heat wave breaks records," 6 July 2018 Heat domes are to blame for the nearly week-long stretch of sweltering heat in Greater Cincinnati. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati weather: Why is it so hot? Blame the heat dome," 5 July 2018 Remember when the Dolphins moved to 4 p.m. home games to help sweltering fans? Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde5: Here's why a fast start looks scheduled for Dolphins," 5 July 2018 Millions of Americans are spending the weekend before the Fourth of July sweltering in an oppressive heat wave that forecasters think will stretch at least until the end of the week before any relief arrives. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Heat wave prompts warnings, bakes nation ahead of July 4 holiday," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

San Diego County continued to swelter, melt and burn Saturday with record-breaking heat for the second day. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego County forecast this week: Hot, humid, cloudy," 7 July 2018 Confidence: High Tomorrow night: The midsummer swelter continues overnight. Brian Jackson, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Sweltering conditions will persist through Independence Day," 1 July 2018 This boundary separates early March-level temperatures from midsummer swelter. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Storms threaten area with heavy rain and hail," 11 May 2018 In the absence of El Nino, the swelter of 2017 was unprecedented. Tom Randall, Bloomberg.com, "Earth’s Relentless Warming Sets a Brutal New Record in 2017," 18 Jan. 2018 Only a handful of motor vehicles are allowed on the island; transportation is mainly the domain of donkeys or men pushing wooden carts through the tropical swelter. National Geographic, "As the World Cuts Back on Coal, a Growing Appetite in Africa," 10 May 2017 Yet there were upsides: namely, shells that slid off with nary a nick and entirely avoiding the swelter of stovetop boiling. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, "Can the Instant Pot Cook as Well as Julia Child?," 6 July 2017 In late May, mercury readings soared to 128.3 degrees in Pakistan, a swelter that coincided with Ramadan, when millions of Pakistanis forgo water and food from sunrise to sunset. Rachel Kyte, Time, "Air Conditioning Is a Lifesaver. It’s Also a Potential Disaster," 3 Aug. 2017 Those cities, and much of the Pacific Northwest, are in the third — and likely worst — day of a blistering heat wave that has slammed cities that usually escape the worst of the summer swelter. Jen Kirby, Daily Intelligencer, "Extreme Heat Wave Is Cooking the Pacific Northwest," 3 Aug. 2017

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

1851, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swelter

Verb

Middle English sweltren, frequentative of swelten to die, be overcome by heat, from Old English sweltan to die; akin to Goth swiltan to die

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Dictionary Entries near swelter

swell shark

swelltoad

swelt

swelter

sweltering

sweltry

swept

Statistics for swelter

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Time Traveler for swelter

The first known use of swelter was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for swelter

swelter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of swelter

: to be very hot and uncomfortable

swelter

verb
swel·​ter | \ˈswel-tər \
sweltered; sweltering

Kids Definition of swelter

: to suffer, sweat, or be faint from heat

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