- 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 sulk·er. a person who sulks.
Origin of sulk
First recorded in 1775–85; back formation from sulky
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sulks
Your heart bleeds for a 12-year-old who sulks after discovering the cruel realities of humanity.Why 'The Giver' Movie Will Disappoint the Book's Fans
August 15, 2014
When Elsa breaks up with Von Trapp and sulks off stage near the end, you hate to see her go.‘Sound of Music Live!’ Review: The Hills Are Barely Alive
December 6, 2013
He sulks and tells silly lies when you come to really know him.The Gorgeous Girl
What difference would it make whether in the sulks or out of them?The Prisoner
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
Achilles, the man of action, without honour or imagination, sulks.William Shakespeare
- (intr) to be silent and resentful because of a wrong done to one, esp in order to gain sympathy; brood sullenlythe child sulked in a corner after being slapped
- (often plural) a state or mood of feeling resentful or sullenhe's in a sulk because he lost the game; he's got the sulks
- Also: sulker a person who sulks
C18: perhaps a back formation from sulky 1
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
Word Origin and History for sulks
1781, back-formation of sulky (adj.). Related: Sulked; sulking.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper