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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 sulks
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He sulks and tells silly lies when you come to really know him.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley
  • What difference would it make whether in the sulks or out of them?

    The Prisoner Alice Brown
  • Susie and Inez quarreled over the dishes and had the sulks all day.

    Tabitha's Vacation

    Ruth Alberta Brown
  • She claimed a foul and went off in a fit of sulks, of course.

    David and the Phoenix Edward Ormondroyd
  • Achilles, the man of action, without honour or imagination, sulks.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • The wise man, Ulysses, suggests that he be brought from his sulks by mockery.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • The governor is in the sulks; he has shut himself up, and will not see me.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • He was tired of Toad, and his sulks and his airs and his meanness.

    The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
British Dictionary definitions for sulks


(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 sulks



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sulks



A bout of depression or bad temper (1818+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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