WORD LISTS

The Sweltering Words of Summer

July 16, 2017
Looking for a variety of words to choose from when complaining about how hot it is? You're in luck! There are plenty of ways to gripe about just how stifling the summer months can be.

For more, check out the article: Sweltering Words for the Nuclear Summer.
nuclear
Literally, anything nuclear refers to the nucleus of an atom. Nuclear energy comes from splitting the atom, and that's why you see references to nuclear weapons, nuclear power plants, and nuclear scientists. However, sometimes this term is used a bit more loosely. When an argument gets out of hand, it goes nuclear, and when the temperatures rise to preposterous degrees, you can say the weather has also reached nuclear levels.
A nuclear summer almost assuredly is on the way.
sweltering
Since the 1600s, sweltering has been a word for excessive heat. The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as, "Oppressive or overpowering with great heat; causing or accompanied by profuse sweating or suffocation through extreme heat." That's right: sweltering heat is so bad you might not even be able to breathe, literally. Sweltering isn't swell.
Plus, it was sweltering and one groomsman wanted to shed his suit jacket.
tropical
This refers to countries around the Earth's equator: the tropics. These areas, far from the chilly North and South poles, have the opposite weather: hot and steamy. This is why tropical nations such as Jamaica and the Bahamas are popular vacation spots, and it's also why tropical is a synonym for hot weather.
Drivers sling hammocks in their wheel wells and sometimes wait several days in the thick tropical heat.
humid
One of the most annoying summer phrases—along with "Hot enough for ya?"—is "It's not the heat, it's the humidity." When humidity is high, the weather is humid. High humidity means there's a lot of moisture in the air, and when humidity reaches 100%, Mother Nature makes it rain.
“For example, in a warming world, we anticipate more unbearably humid days,” he said.
muggy
Muggy has been around since at least the 1700s. Another word used for humid or muggy weather is sticky, in reference to the sweat-soaked shirts and other garments that can make summer so uncomfortable. It's one thing to be sweaty after playing basketball or ripping phone books. It's another thing to be drenched in sweat just standing there, because of monumental mugginess.
The ocean breeze swept away the muggy heat of the summer afternoon, and it was pleasantly cool under the shade of the palmetto trees.
oppressive
This word usually refers to tyrannical governments that crush their people's spirits. Anything oppressive pushes down from above, which may explain why people often describe the heat as oppressive when the sun feels like the enemy, because it's just so flippin' hot. If the heat is oppressive, it's wearing down your body and spirit. Seek an air conditioner immediately.
But 50 years ago she was a pre-teen, sleeping on the porch to escape the oppressive heat, awakening to see a sky that glowed unnaturally.
scorch
This weekend, despite scorching temperatures, they contained the majority of the 20 more significant wildfires at a few thousand acres.
unseasonable
The unseasonable warmth is part of a center of warm air shifting north across portions of the western United States, the National Weather Service said.
balmy
On a balmy summer evening with a breeze to keep the bugs away, it’s perfectly enchanting.
steamy
It was a steamy summer day in New York in 2009 when Luke Holden, an investment banker, had a craving for a lobster roll.
stifling
Arizona is seeing the most stifling temperatures, but the wrath of the heat wave is being felt across Nevada and California as well.
suffocating
Inexperienced and struggling in the suffocating heat, Mr. Hame did not throw it far enough and was cut by shrapnel.
blistering
After a weekend of blistering heat, firefighters will face additional weather-related complications, according to the National Weather Service.

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