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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 sulkiness
Historical Examples
  • His silence and sulkiness lasted till Clarence took his leave.

  • His sulkiness was breaking down and he was showing some agitation.

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • Billie forgot her sulkiness in her joy at the elopements of Tia Luz.

    The Treasure Trail Marah Ellis Ryan
  • She entered with an air of sulkiness that brought dread to Marjorie's heart.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • What I want to show is that even passion, bad as it is, is not so bad as sulkiness.

    Parkhurst Boys Talbot Baines Reed
  • His sulkiness, his ferocity, was gone now; he was gentleness itself.

    The Creators

    May Sinclair
  • At that moment all the sulkiness and self-will were crushed out of his little heart.

    Captain Horace Sophie May
  • There will be no use in sulkiness, in laziness, in inattention.

    Girls of the Forest L. T. Meade
  • Laura said nothing; ashamed of her own sulkiness, she yet was not prepared to acknowledge it.

    The Princess Idleways Mrs. W. J. Hayes
  • sulkiness is not one of his faults; no, no, nobody could say that.

    That Little Beggar E. King Hall
British Dictionary definitions for sulkiness


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sullen, withdrawn, or moody, through or as if through resentment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 sulkiness



"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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