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adjective, sulk·i·er, sulk·i·est.
  1. marked by or given to sulking; sullen.
  2. gloomy or dull: sulky weather.
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noun, plural sulk·ies.
  1. a light, two-wheeled, one-horse carriage for one person.
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Origin of sulky

1735–45; akin to Old English solcen- lazy (in solcennes laziness), Frisian (N dial.) sulkig sulky
Related formssulk·i·ly, adverbsulk·i·ness, nounun·sulk·i·ly, adverbun·sulk·i·ness, nounun·sulk·y, adjective

Synonyms for sulky

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Antonyms for sulky

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

Related Words for sulkiness

anger, sullenness, glumness, gloominess

Examples from the Web for sulkiness

Historical Examples of sulkiness

  • His silence and sulkiness lasted till Clarence took his leave.

    Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)

    Maria Edgeworth

  • His sulkiness was breaking down and he was showing some agitation.

  • Billie forgot her sulkiness in her joy at the elopements of Tia Luz.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • She entered with an air of sulkiness that brought dread to Marjorie's heart.

    Marjorie Dean

    Pauline Lester

  • What I want to show is that even passion, bad as it is, is not so bad as sulkiness.

    Parkhurst Boys

    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for sulkiness


adjective sulkier or sulkiest
  1. sullen, withdrawn, or moody, through or as if through resentment
  2. dull or dismalsulky weather
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Derived Formssulkily, adverbsulkiness, noun

Word Origin for sulky

C18: perhaps from obsolete sulke sluggish, probably related to Old English āseolcan to be lazy


noun plural sulkies
  1. a light two-wheeled vehicle for one person, usually drawn by one horse
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Word Origin for sulky

C18: from sulky 1, because it can carry only one person
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 sulkiness



"sullen," 1744, probably from Old English asolcen "idle, lazy, slow," from past participle of aseolcan "become sluggish, be weak or idle" (related to besylcan "be languid"), from Proto-Germanic *seklanan (cf. Middle High German selken "to drop, fall").

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"light carriage with two wheels," 1756, apparently a noun use of sulky (adj.), on notion of "standoffishness," because the carriage has room for only one person.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper