Dictionary.com

surly

[ sur-lee ]
/ ˈsɜr li /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: surly / surliness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, sur·li·er, sur·li·est.
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.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of surly

First recorded in 1560–70; spelling variant of obsolete sirly “lordly, arrogant,” equivalent to sir + -ly

synonym study for surly

1. See glum.

OTHER WORDS FROM surly

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use surly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for surly

surly
/ (ˈsɜːlɪ) /

adjective -lier or -liest
sullenly ill-tempered or rude
(of an animal) ill-tempered or refractory
dismal
obsolete arrogant

Derived forms of surly

surlily, adverbsurliness, noun

Word Origin for surly

C16: from obsolete sirly haughty; see sir
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