- 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 surlyboorish, dour, sullen, rude, testy, ugly, morose, irritable, brusque, churlish, cross, crusty, discourteous, fractious, glum, grouchy, ill-mannered, ill-natured, perverse, saturnine
Examples from the Web for surly
Contemporary Examples of surly
Even now, the GOP still polls less well than the Democratic Party with a surly electorate.To Make Their Victory Durable, the GOP Must Fix the Minimum Wage
November 6, 2014
So, Dean picks Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook), a dorky, surly art student.‘She’s All That' 15th Anniversary: Cast and Crew Reminisce About the Making of the ‘90s Classic
January 29, 2014
This was a guy so surly and grim that he made Tommy Lee Jones look like SpongeBob SquarePants.Obama’s Phony Bipartisan Pick: Chuck Hagel for Defense
January 8, 2013
It was a bit like watching a surly jazz musician, channeling Miles Davis, take the stage.The Power of the Wedding Dress
October 3, 2011
A couple of times, Newt Gingrich got so surly and snarky and self-congratulatory that I was transported back to 1995.The Mitt and Rick Show
September 8, 2011
Historical Examples of surly
"You have done very well," remarked the Brabanter in a surly voice.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Our steward was a Portuguese negro, of the most vicious and surly temper.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
He would not have been a Briton if these untoward combinations of events had not made him surly.Hetty's Strange History
She was a Socitaire of the Comdie, old, spiteful, and surly.My Double Life
He had to bid him go back in a surly tone, and his heart smote him while he did so.Barnaby Rudge
- sullenly ill-tempered or rude
- (of an animal) ill-tempered or refractory
- obsolete arrogant