"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[suhl-tree] /ˈsʌl tri/
adjective, sultrier, sultriest.
oppressively hot and close or moist; sweltering:
a sultry day.
oppressively hot; emitting great heat:
the sultry sun.
characterized by or associated with sweltering heat:
sultry work in the fields.
characterized by or arousing passion:
sultry eyes.
Origin of sultry
1585-95; sult(e)r (variant of swelter) + -y1
Related forms
sultrily, adverb
sultriness, noun
unsultry, adjective
1. oppressive, stifling, humid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sultry
  • Sensuous textures and deep, saturated colors are used to create a sultry atmosphere of stifled desire.
  • It is the rare actress who can manage to be so seductive or sultry as this scene.
  • Still, her achievement and legend cast a long, sultry shadow.
  • Ice stalls may be set up to cool shoppers as the weather is apt to be hot and sultry.
  • The tornado came after a sultry day and was preceded by some lightening and hail.
  • Taller than any human, the plants make a shadowy canopy against summer's sultry heat.
  • The tornado came after a sultry day and was preceded by some lightning and hail.
  • The heat was described as sultry, oppressive and lifeless.
  • Instruments were played, sultry voices filled the air as the crowd was serenaded to an evening's delight.
  • The winter doldrums have long set in by now and the longing for sultry summer days is festering.
British Dictionary definitions for sultry


adjective -trier, -triest
(of weather or climate) oppressively hot and humid
characterized by or emitting oppressive heat
displaying or suggesting passion; sensual: sultry eyes
Derived Forms
sultrily, adverb
sultriness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from obsolete sulter to swelter + -y1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sultry

1590s, "oppressively hot, close and moist" (of weather), from obsolete verb sulter "to swelter" (1580s), alteration of swelter. Figurative sense of "hot with lust" is attested from 1704; of women, "lascivious, sensual, arousing desire" it is recorded from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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