Definition of swelter in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsweltər/ /ˈswɛltər/

Translate swelter into Spanish

intransitive verb

[no object]
  • (of a person or the atmosphere at a particular time or place) be uncomfortably hot.

    ‘Barney sweltered in his doorman's uniform’
    • ‘On the downside it's 300 km from the sea, freezing in the winter, sweltering in the summer.’
    • ‘We were rained on hard enough to look for a second ark, we drove through three snowstorms in the mountains, we froze in a harsh Kansas wind, and we sweltered in southern Texas heat.’
    • ‘I got to the top about 15 minutes before them but then I made a big mistake and took my hat off because I was sweltering.’
    • ‘Granted, here in Dublin it's a few degrees cooler than in Britain, but it's still sweltering by our standards.’
    • ‘They may be sweltering and risking dehydration at one moment then combating hypothermia as the wind swings round to the east.’
    • ‘How they must look down at us sitting there, sweltering away in the morning sun, and laugh their heads off at us.’
    • ‘If you thought that you were sweltering more than usual during February you were far from wrong.’
    • ‘One of the beach packed with visitors sweltering in Mediterranean-style sunshine.’
    • ‘When the weather is sweltering, how we long for the cooling respite of a dip in a swimming pool.’
    • ‘Outside the Waldorf-Astoria, demonstrators and cops shivered in a cold, persistent drizzle; inside, delegates sweltered in the over-heating that seems to tempt every hotel manager.’
    • ‘Hong Kong sweltered yesterday in its hottest day so far this year with the mercury reaching a monstrous 37 degrees in the western New Territories and 34 degrees in urban areas.’
    • ‘As Hong Kong sweltered for the second day under smoggy skies, a health lobby group called on the government to reform its current air pollution health warnings saying they are inadequate.’
    • ‘While the north coast has sweltered under the hottest February sun for 100 years, the rains have arrived just in time to remind us it's winter sport sign-on.’
    • ‘Across the aeons, temperatures have dipped and soared, plunged and sweltered - without the assistance of mankind.’
    • ‘Having to sit on stage in sweltering heat all day taking the brunt of increasingly short-tempered attendees is not going to be much fun.’
    • ‘Over the summer Matt, from Rodbourne, completed the Athens marathon despite sweltering temperatures.’
    • ‘As Tokyo swelters in soaring temperatures, people are being invited to cool off by choosing from a variety of unusual flavours.’
    • ‘As Coventry swelter in the heat, Mikkel Bischoff still maintains he made the right move in switching to the Ricoh Arena.’
    • ‘Otherwise, laugh along as Harold improvises an elephant trunk, chews on leaves, swelters in a hot desert sun, deals with mischievous thieving monkeys, and more.’
    • ‘The locked-out crowd had two choices: remain uncomfortably warm in the plaza, or crowd into the box-office area and swelter unbearably.’
    hot, stifling, suffocating, humid, steamy, sultry, sticky, muggy, close, stuffy, airless, oppressive, tropical, torrid, burning, searing, parching, like an oven, like a Turkish bath, jungle-like


in singular
  • An uncomfortably hot atmosphere.

    ‘the swelter of an August day’
    • ‘Now most of the crew will fight for their ship in a swelter of smoke and foul air.’
    • ‘School children are sweating it out with soaring summer temperatures and record levels of humidity leaving the region in a swelter.’
    • ‘There is a level of desperation provided in the performances, and the monochrome image sells the desert swelter very well.’
    • ‘A slim, wooden door separates the tiny coffee storefront from a handful of employees working in the swelter of the warehouse-style area, heated both by the summer weather and the industrial-size coffee roaster.’
    • ‘The fire was so violent and hot that he could feel it's swelter from three blocks away.’
    hot weather, hotness, warm weather, warmth, warmness, sultriness, closeness, mugginess, humidity, swelter


Middle English from the base of dialect swelt ‘perish’, of Germanic origin.