tor·​rid ˈtȯr-əd How to pronounce torrid (audio)
: parched with heat especially of the sun : hot
torrid sands
: giving off intense heat : scorching
: ardent, passionate
torrid love letters
torridity noun
torridly adverb
torridness noun

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What Do torrid and Toast Have in Common?

Torrid derives from the Latin verb torrēre, which means "to burn" or "to parch" and is an ancestor of our word toast. Despite the dry implications of this root, it is also an ancestor of torrent, which can refer to a violent stream of liquid (as in "a torrent of rain"). Torrid first appeared in English in the 16th century, and was originally used to describe something burned or scorched by exposure to the sun. The term torrid zone later came about to refer to tropical regions of the Earth. Torrid has taken on several extended meanings that we would use for hot, including "showing fiery passion," as in "torrid love letters," or "displaying unusual luck or fortune," as in "a baseball player on a torrid hitting streak."

Examples of torrid in a Sentence

The team had a torrid time trying to score. the dry, torrid summers in southern Arizona
Recent Examples on the Web Florida, meanwhile, had too much of the stuff, editorials in California replied: a wetland fit for reptiles but potentially deadly to new residents who would wilt in its torrid summers. Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Sep. 2023 Although overall growth was torrid, the rate of price increases was slightly lower than expected, indicating that inflation might have been weaker in recent months than previously understood. Lydia Depillis, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2023 Kolton Nero, Foley: Nero continued his torrid rushing pace even in a Lions loss. Ben Thomas |, al, 17 Sep. 2023 But Garrone’s film also recognises the little light that shines through the cracks in his protagonists’ torrid journey, like the value of their kinship. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 9 Sep. 2023 Colleagues engaging in torrid affairs are risking their careers and marriages. Amy Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Sep. 2023 On the way home after a party-ending brawl, Aysha (Jason Patel) explains to Luke (Ben Hardy) the torrid love triangle that precipitated the fight in the first place. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2023 In a 7-0 blowout of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers continued their torrid August performance, finishing the month’s penultimate day with a 24-4 record since the end of July. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 31 Aug. 2023 Read full article In the midst of the torrid doldrums of mid-August, when the ritual of protest is momentarily replaced by the ritual of the beach, France awoke to the news that Macron would convene the main parliamentary groups Wednesday for an afternoon of discussion followed by a dinner. Roger Cohen and Aurelien Breeden,, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from French & Latin; French torride, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin torridus "dried by exposure to heat, parched, scorched," adjective derivative from the stem of torreō, torrēre "to heat so as to dry, scorch, parch" — more at thirst entry 1

First Known Use

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of torrid was in 1545


Dictionary Entries Near torrid

Cite this Entry

“Torrid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


tor·​rid ˈtȯr-əd How to pronounce torrid (audio)
: very hot and usually dry
torridly adverb

from Latin torridus "dried or burnt by heat, torrid," derived from torrēre "to heat so as to dry up or burn" — related to torrent

Word Origin
The Latin verb torrēre, meaning "to heat so as to dry up or burn," gave rise to two quite different English words. They are torrid and torrent. The Latin adjective torridus, meaning "dried or burnt by heat," was formed from torrēre. It became our torrid. Another Latin adjective, torrens, meaning "scorching, burning," was also formed from torrēre. It, however, gained a second sense of "flowing with great force and speed, rushing." This second sense led to the use of torrens as a noun for "a rushing or violent stream." This noun was borrowed into English as torrent. It came to refer not only to rushing water, but also to any kind of outpouring, such as of words, information, sounds, or feelings.

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