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sullen

[suhl-uh n] /ˈsʌl ən/
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.
Origin of sullen
1565-1575
1565-75; earlier solein, Middle English < ?
Related forms
sullenly, adverb
sullenness, noun
unsullen, adjective
unsullenly, adverb
Synonyms
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sullenly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • All his reply was, sullenly to set himself to packing his mules.

  • "A mighty poor set of laws they are," grumbled Thornton sullenly.

    The Story of Wool Sara Ware Bassett
  • "I ain't here to hoit youse," he said, sullenly, after a minute's silence.

    The Boy Scout Automobilists Robert Maitland
  • The father's arm dropped; he stood there sullenly looking at her.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • "I never read him in my life," responded Radcliffe, sullenly.

    A Book about Doctors John Cordy Jeaffreson
  • Did not Ethel Gordon ask him particularly to come, and did he not refuse her sullenly?

    The Talking Horse F. Anstey
  • But Mercedes looked up at Mrs. Hughson sullenly; then broke away from Jamie's arms and ran upstairs.

    Pirate Gold Frederic Jesup Stimson
  • Monsieur, the duke of Orleans, was sullenly residing at Blois.

British Dictionary definitions for sullenly

sullen

/ˈsʌlən/
adjective
1.
unwilling to talk or be sociable; sulky; morose
2.
sombre; gloomy: a sullen day
3.
(literary) sluggish; slow: a sullen stream
4.
(obsolete) threatening
noun
5.
(pl) (archaic) a sullen mood
Derived Forms
sullenly, adverb
sullenness, 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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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