September 01, 2012
swelter (verb)
\SWEL-ter\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to suffer, sweat, or be faint from heat2 : to overcome with heat
How do you use it?
"After the first of three services was dismissed, the mass of humanity which had squished its way into the sweltering interior of the small church poured onto the school grounds . . ." (Mildred D. Taylor, _Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry_)
Are you a word wiz?

Only one of the sentences below uses "swelter" correctly. Which one do you think it is?

If you thought answer B was the hot one, you were right! If you read our definition, you can see that it makes sense for an explorer to swelter in a hot jungle. But what about the other sentences? Sentence A uses "swelter" as a noun, rather than a verb. The word "sweater" would fit better there. Sentence C is on the right track because it uses "swelter" as a verb, but based on the context, "shelter," not "swelter," is the right verb for that sentence. Sentence D is out, too. It's got the "heat" idea behind "swelter" right, but it incorrectly uses "swelter" as an adjective to describe a kind of day.
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