- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for sully on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
Examples from the Web for sully
I begin to observe that it sounds as if Sully is in microcosm what Newman himself…but that is as far as I get.
Sully decides to face the truth of what his negligence has sown.
But he was also showing a gritty and sully city in a beautiful way.Bill Cunningham: Through the Lens of a Style King
March 14, 2014
The Sully people catalogue a variety of reactions to today's job numbers.It's a 'Could Be Worse' Economy, and We're Living in It
December 7, 2012
Sully is downright exuberant at Biden's performance tonight.Vice Presidential Debate Live Blog
October 11, 2012
Mr Clayton had taught me wisdom, which his own bad conduct could not sully or affect.
Signals were exchanged, and our ship, which was then well off the land, ran in and spoke the Sully.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Sully suspended the preparations for the coronation, and sought the Queen.
"Nothing at all, sire," says Sully, as calm as his master was excited.
By the following May events proved the accuracy of Sully's judgment.
- to stain or tarnish (a reputation, etc) or (of a reputation) to become stained or tarnished
- a stain
- the act of sullying
- 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
Word Origin and History for sully
1570s (implied in sulliedness), probably from Middle French souiller, from Old French souillier "make dirty" (see soil (v.)). Related: Sullied; sullying.