Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

sullen

[suhl-uh n]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. showing irritation or ill humor by a gloomy silence or reserve.
  2. persistently and silently ill-humored; morose.
  3. indicative of gloomy ill humor.
  4. gloomy or dismal, as weather or a sound.
  5. sluggish, as a stream.
  6. Obsolete. malignant, as planets or influences.
Show More

Origin of sullen

1565–75; earlier solein, Middle English < ?
Related formssul·len·ly, adverbsul·len·ness, nounun·sul·len, adjectiveun·sul·len·ly, adverb

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. See cross. 1, 2. See glum. 2. sulky, moody, sour, bad-tempered. 4. cheerless, clouded, overcast, somber, mournful, dark. 5. slow, stagnant.

Antonyms

1, 2. cheerful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sullenly

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for sullenly

sullen

adjective
  1. unwilling to talk or be sociable; sulky; morose
  2. sombre; gloomya sullen day
  3. literary sluggish; slowa sullen stream
  4. obsolete threatening
Show More
noun
  1. (plural) archaic a sullen mood
Show More
Derived Formssullenly, adverbsullenness, noun

Word Origin

C16: perhaps from Anglo-French solain (unattested), ultimately related to Latin sōlus alone
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 sullenly

sullen

adj.

1570s, alteration of Middle English soleyn "unique, singular," from Anglo-French *solein, formed on the pattern of Old French soltain, from Old French soul "single" (see sole (n.2)). The sense shift in Middle English from "solitary" to "morose" occurred late 14c.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper