[ suhl-ee ]
/ ˈsʌl i /

verb (used with object), sul·lied, sul·ly·ing.

to soil, stain, or tarnish.
to mar the purity or luster of; defile: to sully a reputation.

verb (used without object), sul·lied, sul·ly·ing.

to become sullied, soiled, or tarnished.

noun, plural sul·lies.

Obsolete. a stain; soil.

Origin of sully

First recorded in 1585–95; origin uncertain


sul·li·a·ble, adjectiveun·sul·li·a·ble, adjectiveun·sul·lied, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sullied

British Dictionary definitions for sullied (1 of 2)

/ (ˈsʌlɪ) /

verb -lies, -lying or -lied

to stain or tarnish (a reputation, etc) or (of a reputation) to become stained or tarnished

noun plural -lies

a stain
the act of sullying

Derived forms of sully

sulliable, adjective

Word Origin for sully

C16: probably from French souiller to soil

British Dictionary definitions for sullied (2 of 2)

/ (ˈsʌlɪ, French sylli) /


Maximilien de Béthune (maksimiljɛ̃ də betyn), Duc de Sully. 1559–1641, French statesman; minister of Henry IV. He helped restore the finances of France after the Wars of Religion
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