- churlishly rude or bad-tempered: a surly waiter.
- unfriendly or hostile; menacingly irritable: a surly old lion.
- dark or dismal; menacing; threatening: a surly sky.
- Obsolete. lordly; arrogant.
Origin of surly
Related Words for surlinesstantrum, impatience, rage, fury, sensitivity, resentment, passion, anger, ire, outburst, tiff, irascibility, snit, irritation, irritability, annoyance, pugnacity, fit, acerbity, wax
Examples from the Web for surliness
Contemporary Examples of surliness
The 59-year-old prime minister has a Nixonian reputation for surliness and bullying.Tonight, Britain's Future Is Up for Debate
Samuel P. Jacobs
April 14, 2010
Historical Examples of surliness
Yes, but surliness might have provoked a point-blank question.The Secret Sharer
"These be some of my investments," he answered, with just a tinge of surliness.The Crisis, Complete
He made no friends, and though his surliness repelled us, he made few enemies.Andersonville, Volume 3
His normal easygoing manner was broken by periods of surliness.First on the Moon
Surliness in excess they might have, but dignity, not at all.The Rustler of Wind River
G. W. Ogden
- sullenly ill-tempered or rude
- (of an animal) ill-tempered or refractory
- obsolete arrogant