Sullen Sul"len, a. [OE. solein, solain, lonely, sullen; through Old French fr. (assumed) LL. solanus solitary, fr. L. solus alone. See {Sole}, a.] 1. Lonely; solitary; desolate. [Obs.] --Wyclif (Job iii. 14). [1913 Webster]

2. Gloomy; dismal; foreboding. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Solemn hymns so sullen dirges change. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious. [1913 Webster]

Such sullen planets at my birth did shine. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. Gloomily angry and silent; cross; sour; affected with ill humor; morose. [1913 Webster]

And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

5. Obstinate; intractable. [1913 Webster]

Things are as sullen as we are. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

6. Heavy; dull; sluggish. ``The larger stream was placid, and even sullen, in its course.'' --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Sulky; sour; cross; ill-natured; morose; peevish; fretful; ill-humored; petulant; gloomy; malign; intractable.

Usage: {Sullen}, {Sulky}. Both sullen and sulky show themselves in the demeanor. Sullenness seems to be an habitual sulkiness, and sulkiness a temporary sullenness. The former may be an innate disposition; the latter, a disposition occasioned by recent injury. Thus we are in a sullen mood, and in a sulky fit. [1913 Webster]

No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows; The dreaded east is all the wind that blows. --Pope. [1913 Webster] -- {Sul"len*ly}, adv. -- {Sul"len*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sullen — may refer to:* Sullens Swiss municipalityMusic* A Sullen Sky song * Sullen band * Sullen Girl song * Sullen Soul song * Slumber of Sullen Eyes album/song * The Sullen Sulcus album …   Wikipedia

  • sullen — sullen, *glum, morose, surly, sulky, crabbed, saturnine, dour, gloomy can mean governed by or showing, especially in one s aspect, a forbidding or disagreeable mood or disposition. One is sullen who is, often by disposition, gloomy, silent, and… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Sullen — Sul len, n. 1. One who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit. [Obs.] Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster] 2. pl. Sullen feelings or manners; sulks; moroseness; as, to have the sullens. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sullen — Sul len, v. t. To make sullen or sluggish. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Sullens the whole body with . . . laziness. Feltham. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sullen — [sul′ən] adj. [ME solein, alone, solitary < VL * solanus, alone < L solus, alone, SOLE2] 1. showing resentment and ill humor by morose, unsociable withdrawal 2. gloomy; dismal; sad; depressing 3. somber; dull [sullen colors] 4. slow moving; …   English World dictionary

  • sullen — index despondent, resentful, restive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • sullen — 1570s, alteration of M.E. soleyn unique, singular, from Anglo Fr. *solein, formed on the pattern of O.Fr. soltain, from O.Fr. soul single (see SOLE (Cf. sole) (2)). The sense shift in M.E. from solitary to morose occurred late 14c …   Etymology dictionary

  • sullen — [adj] brooding, upset bad tempered, cheerless, churlish, crabbed*, crabby*, cross, cynical, dismal, dour, dull, fretful, frowning, gloomy, glowering, glum, gruff, grumpy*, heavy, hostile, ill humored, inert, irritable, malevolent, malicious,… …   New thesaurus

  • sullen — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ bad tempered and sulky. DERIVATIVES sullenly adverb sullenness noun. ORIGIN originally in the senses «averse to company» and «unusual»: from Old French sulein, from sol sole …   English terms dictionary

  • sullen — adjective Etymology: Middle English solein solitary, from Anglo French sulein, solain, perhaps from sol, soul single, sole + ain after Old French soltain solitary, private, from Late Latin solitaneus, ultimately from Latin solus alone Date: 14th… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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