- to soil, stain, or tarnish.
- to mar the purity or luster of; defile: to sully a reputation.
- to become sullied, soiled, or tarnished.
- Obsolete. a stain; soil.
Origin of sully
Synonyms for sullySee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Words for sullieddefile, debase, tarnish, smear, blacken, dishonor, taint, smudge, discolor, corrupt, disgrace, besmirch, tar, blot, debauch, spot, mark, dirty, contaminate
Examples from the Web for sullied
Contemporary Examples of sullied
Straight couples will see that their own marriages were somehow not sullied after all.Who Are the Judicial Activists Now?
October 7, 2014
Similarly, clandestine foreign operations have sullied the civilian courts.Bin Laden's Real Legacy
David K. Shipler
May 26, 2011
This modern autocrat suckles from your own breast and buries you beneath a mountain of sullied nappies.The Book for Angry Moms
March 29, 2010
Historical Examples of sullied
No taint of vice or dissipation had ever sullied the brightness of his pleasant life.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
Was it well that a deity should be sullied by a mortal's wound?The Aeneid of Virgil
Even the memory of his grand passion was now corrupted, sullied, debased.The Child of Pleasure
The child has been concealed, that she might not be sullied by the looks of such creatures as you.The Regent's Daughter
Alexandre Dumas (Pere)
Never let your reputation in this respect be sullied by so much as a breath.The Congo Rovers
- to stain or tarnish (a reputation, etc) or (of a reputation) to become stained or tarnished
- a stain
- the act of sullying
Word Origin for sully
- 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
1570s (implied in sulliedness), probably from Middle French souiller, from Old French souillier "make dirty" (see soil (v.)). Related: Sullied; sullying.