Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sulks
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Have your sulks out, lads; you'll come round like the Priscilla on a tack, and discover you've made way by it.'

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

    David and the Phoenix Edward Ormondroyd
  • He had started uphill in a fit of sulks, and he was ashamed to stop.

    Nightmare Planet Murray Leinster
  • Achilles, the man of action, without honour or imagination, sulks.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • And so it came about that just before evening he stumbled upon the very same valley he had left in his sulks the morning before.

    The Three Mulla-mulgars Walter De La Mare
  • The wise man, Ulysses, suggests that he be brought from his sulks by mockery.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • Kiki sulks, and he hid this morning, so he'll have even less than Toby.

    Barks and Purrs Colette Willy, aka Colette
  • The governor is in the sulks; he has shut himself up, and will not see me.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sulks



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sulk

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sulks

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sulks