adjective, mood·i·er, mood·i·est.

given to gloomy, depressed, or sullen moods; ill-humored.
proceeding from or showing such a mood: a moody silence.
expressing or exhibiting sharply varying moods; temperamental.

Origin of moody

before 900; Middle English mody, Old English mōdig. See mood1, -y1
Related formsmood·i·ly, adverbmood·i·ness, nounun·mood·y, adjective

Synonyms for moody

1. sulky, morose, brooding; glowering. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for moodily

Historical Examples of moodily

  • "I am many years older than Maltravers," muttered Vargrave, moodily.

  • "I wish dad wasn't so—" began Wally moodily, and let it go at that.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • "I never lifted a finger to get them," said Arthur, moodily.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • "She gave me a knife my last birthday," said Edward, moodily, never budging.

    The Golden Age

    Kenneth Grahame

  • “All I know is, he served in Algiers,” said Mauville, moodily.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

British Dictionary definitions for moodily


adjective moodier or moodiest

sullen, sulky, or gloomy
temperamental or changeable
Derived Formsmoodily, adverbmoodiness, noun



Dwight Lyman. 1837–99, US evangelist and hymnodist, noted for his revivalist campaigns in Britain and the US with I. D. Sankey
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 moodily



Old English modig "brave, proud, high-spirited, impetuous, arrogant," from Proto-Germanic *modago- (cf. Old Saxon modag, Dutch moedig, German mutig, Old Norse moðugr); see mood (1) + -y (2). Meaning "subject to gloomy spells" is first recorded 1590s (via a Middle English sense of "angry").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

moodily in Medicine




Given to frequent changes of mood; temperamental.
Subject to periods of depression; sulky.
Expressive of a mood, especially a sullen or gloomy mood.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.