Dictionary.com

sully

[ suhl-ee ]
/ ˈsʌl i /
Save This Word!

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of sully

First recorded in 1585–95; origin uncertain

OTHER WORDS FROM sully

sul·li·a·ble, adjectiveun·sul·li·a·ble, adjectiveun·sul·lied, adjective

Definition for sully (2 of 2)

Sully
[ suhl-ee; for 1 also French sy-lee ]
/ ˈsʌl i; for 1 also French süˈli /

noun

Ma·xi·mi·lien de Bé·thune [mak-see-mee-lyan duh bey-tyn], /mak si miˈlyɛ̃ də beɪˈtün/, Duc de, 1560–1641, French statesman.
Thomas, 1783–1872, U.S. painter, born in England.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for sully

British Dictionary definitions for sully (1 of 2)

sully
/ (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 sully (2 of 2)

Sully
/ (ˈsʌlɪ, French sylli) /

noun

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
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
FEEDBACK