adjective, sur·li·er, sur·li·est.
- surinam toad,
Origin of surly
Examples from the Web for surliness
The 59-year-old prime minister has a Nixonian reputation for surliness and bullying.
Surliness in excess they might have, but dignity, not at all.The Rustler of Wind River|G. W. Ogden
"Anybody can have my job that wants it," Honey volunteered with a touch of surliness unusual with him.Angel Island|Inez Haynes Gillmore
But at his heels stalked a tall young hound, who had vexed him all day by surliness, and was now whipped in for punishment.The Maid of Sker|Richard Doddridge Blackmore
Turk was usually restless; Grim slept away his life in surliness.
Even Percy Darrow saw the surliness of the men's attitudes, and with his usual good sense divined the cause.The Mystery|Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams
adjective -lier or -liest
Word Origin for surly
1560s, "lordly, majestic," alteration of Middle English sirly "lordly, imperious" (14c.), from sir. The meaning "rude, gruff" is first attested 1660s. For sense development, cf. lordly, and German herrisch "domineering, imperious," from Herr "master, lord."