showing irritation or ill humor by a gloomy silence or reserve.
persistently and silently ill-humored; morose.
indicative of gloomy ill humor.
gloomy or dismal, as weather or a sound.
sluggish, as a stream.
Obsolete. malignant, as planets or influences.
- sul·len·ly, adverb
- sul·len·ness, noun
- un·sul·len, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sullen in a sentence
There is yet a deeper problem for Ryan, and it may also be pushing him into this unusual sullenness.
He will feel sorry and awkward enough, without reproach, sullenness, or cold looks from you.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
In his fits of resentful sullenness, he hinted an intention of retiring from the Court.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
As for Laura, she continued in her sullenness, anticipating with resentment the assault about to be made upon her soul.The Creators | May Sinclair
He remained perfectly silent, but I could see sullenness growing on his face.Mrs. Falchion, Complete | Gilbert Parker
"I knows what you wants, an' I knows I don' know nothin' 'tall 'bout it," she objected, her sullenness a patent defiance.The Winning Clue | James Hay, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for sullen
unwilling to talk or be sociable; sulky; morose
sombre; gloomy: a sullen day
literary sluggish; slow: a sullen stream
(plural) archaic a sullen mood
- sullenly, adverb
- sullenness, noun
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