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sully

[ suhl-ee ]
/ ˈsʌl i /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR sully ON THESAURUS.COM

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.

RELATED WORDS

defile, debase, tarnish, smear, blacken, dishonor, taint, smudge, discolor, corrupt, disgrace, besmirch, tar, blot, debauch, spot, mark, dirty, contaminate

Nearby words

Origin of sully

First recorded in 1585–95; origin uncertain
SYNONYMS FOR sully
Related formssul·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. 2019

Examples 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 Formssulliable, 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

Word Origin and History for sully

sully


v.

1570s (implied in sulliedness), probably from Middle French souiller, from Old French souillier "make dirty" (see soil (v.)). Related: Sullied; sullying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper