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[suhl-kee] /ˈsʌl ki/
adjective, sulkier, sulkiest.
marked by or given to sulking; sullen.
gloomy or dull:
sulky weather.
noun, plural sulkies.
a light, two-wheeled, one-horse carriage for one person.
Origin of sulky
1735-45; akin to Old English solcen- lazy (in solcennes laziness), Frisian (N dial.) sulkig sulky
Related forms
sulkily, adverb
sulkiness, noun
unsulkily, adverb
unsulkiness, noun
unsulky, adjective
1. moody, surly, morose, churlish.
1. good-humored, good-natured. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sulkily
Historical Examples
  • "I wish to heaven you hadn't taken Knatchett," said Arthur, sulkily.

    The Coryston Family Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • sulkily Papa argued that the cost in any case was prohibitive.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • I thought it was you, so I did not turn, but sulkily went on with my work.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson
  • Stephen, who had been sulkily dressing in his own room, entered immediately after.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • He sulkily picked up the codlines, and threw the hooks overboard.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • “Two Englishmen are worth twenty Spanish devils,” said I sulkily.

    In the Days of Drake J. S. Fletcher
  • "I suppose we shall have our turn one of these days," muttered the other, sulkily.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • The fellow had borne himself to me in a sulkily frightened manner at the last.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • The juragan of the boat said sulkily, "We will cook in the sampan, and sleep on the water."

    Tales of Unrest Joseph Conrad
  • "I wish it would haunt me a little when I 'm awake," said he, sulkily.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for sulkily


adjective sulkier, sulkiest
sullen, withdrawn, or moody, through or as if through resentment
dull or dismal: sulky weather
Derived Forms
sulkily, adverb
sulkiness, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from obsolete sulke sluggish, probably related to Old English āseolcan to be lazy


noun (pl) sulkies
a light two-wheeled vehicle for one person, usually drawn by one horse
Word Origin
C18: from sulky1, because it can carry only one person
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 sulkily



"sullen," 1744, probably from Old English asolcen "idle, lazy, slow," from past participle of aseolcan "become sluggish, be weak or idle" (related to besylcan "be languid"), from Proto-Germanic *seklanan (cf. Middle High German selken "to drop, fall").



"light carriage with two wheels," 1756, apparently a noun use of sulky (adj.), on notion of "standoffishness," because the carriage has room for only one person.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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