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[suhlk] /sʌlk/
verb (used without object)
to remain silent or hold oneself aloof in a sullen, ill-humored, or offended mood:
Promise me that you won't sulk if I want to leave the party early.
a state or fit of sulking.
sulks, ill-humor shown by sulking:
to be in the sulks.
Also, sulker. a person who sulks.
Origin of sulk
First recorded in 1775-85; back formation from sulky
Related forms
outsulk, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sulk
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I ain't hired him to loaf 'round all day with Ruby and to sulk when she's gone.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Sometimes, however, the case is worse, and Evu tries to sulk.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael
  • He did not sulk in his tent, however, but pursued his work with unabated zeal.

    Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark Jens Christian Aaberg
  • When I got home Rose came by herself to attend on me, but she continued to sulk.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • I hope I did not do anything so boyish as to sulk there, but of that I am not sure.

  • No, but I will not encourage your whims; you chose to sulk, it was no fault of mine.

    Isabel Leicester Clotilda Jennings
British Dictionary definitions for sulk


(intransitive) to be silent and resentful because of a wrong done to one, esp in order to gain sympathy; brood sullenly: the child sulked in a corner after being slapped
(often pl) a state or mood of feeling resentful or sullen: he's in a sulk because he lost the game, he's got the sulks
Also sulker. a person who sulks
Word Origin
C18: perhaps a back formation from sulky1
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 sulk

1781, back-formation of sulky (adj.). Related: Sulked; sulking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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