Words and phrases to describe hot weather

The first heatwave of the summer is here. Daytime temperatures reach 35°C / 95°F, and I’m barely able to cope with it. Hot weather is most definitely not my thing and I can’t wait for the cool, crispy days of autumn! However, as much as I dislike the heat, I do like talking about the weather, so in this post I’ll present some vocabulary for more varied descriptions of hot weather.

COLLOCATIONS WITH ‘HOT’

A collocation is a combination of words that often go together. There’s a number of words that collocate with ‘hot’ which you can use to add intensity. While you can always choose some very common adverbs such as ‘really’, ‘very’ or ‘extremely’, you can also use a number of adjectives: 

  • baking hot – so hot that it feels like in an oven
  • boiling / steaming hot – imagine a pot of boiling liquid producing steam – it’s that hot!
  • burning hot – extremely hot, it feels like your skin is on fire
  • scorching / parching hot – the kind of heat that leaves the ground burned
  • unseasonably hot – too hot for the time of year

COLLOCATIONS WITH ‘HEAT’

Some adjectives collocate with the noun ‘heat’, with the same meaning of extremely hot weather:

  • searing heat – ‘to sear’ means to burn the surface of something with intense heat
  • sweltering heat – ‘to swelter’ means to feel extremely hot
  • stifling heat – ‘to stifle’ means to suffocate or make it difficult to breathe
  • oppressive / excessive / unbearable heat – extremely hot, unpleasant and difficult to bear

COLLOCATIONS WITH ‘WEATHER’

Now, let’s look at a few adjectives that collocate with the noun ‘weather’:

  • balmy weather – nice and pleasantly warm
  • glorious weather – hot, sunny and very pleasant
  • tropical weather – hot and humid
  • sultry weather – hot and humid
  • sticky / muggy weather – very hot and humid, makes you sweat a lot

OTHER EXPRESSIONS

Finally, just a few phrases and expressions you can use in the context of hot weather:

“What a scorcher!” (What an extremely hot day!)

“I’m roasting!” or “I’m (absolutely) boiling!” (I feel extremely hot.)

“It’s hot as hell!” or “It’s hot as Hades!”

“It’s the dog days of summer.” (used for the hottest days during July and early August)

“It’s like an oven in here!” or “It’s roasting in here!” (used when referring to enclosed space)

HOT WEATHER LYRICS

After this short vocabulary study, you can do a bit of listening practice using my retro selection of songs containing the theme or motif of hot weather (lyrics embedded):

Heat Wave” – Martha and the Vandellas (1963)

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer” – Nat King Cole (1968)

Cruel Summer” – Bananarama (1983)

The Heat is On” – Glenn Frey (1984)


There are many other words and phrases, including colourful regional / dialect terms used to describe hot weather. If you use or know of any interesting ones, please share them in the comments section!

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