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See more synonyms for sulk on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. 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.
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  1. a state or fit of sulking.
  2. sulks, ill-humor shown by sulking: to be in the sulks.
  3. Also sulk·er. a person who sulks.
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Origin of sulk

First recorded in 1775–85; back formation from sulky
Related formsout·sulk, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for sulk

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I ain't hired him to loaf 'round all day with Ruby and to sulk when she's gone.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Sometimes, however, the case is worse, and Evu tries to sulk.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • He did not sulk in his tent, however, but pursued his work with unabated zeal.

  • When I got home Rose came by herself to attend on me, but she continued to sulk.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete

    Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • I hope I did not do anything so boyish as to sulk there, but of that I am not sure.

British Dictionary definitions for sulk


  1. (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
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  1. (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
  2. Also: sulker a person who sulks
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Word Origin

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 sulk


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper