sullen

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj sullen darkened by clouds "a heavy sky"
    • adj sullen showing a brooding ill humor "a dark scowl","the proverbially dour New England Puritan","a glum, hopeless shrug","he sat in moody silence","a morose and unsociable manner","a saturnine, almost misanthropic young genius"- Bruce Bliven","a sour temper","a sullen crowd"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sullen Gloomily angry and silent; cross; sour; affected with ill humor; morose. "And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast."
    • Sullen Gloomy; dismal; foreboding. "Solemn hymns so sullen dirges change."
    • Sullen Heavy; dull; sluggish. "Leaden slumber.""The larger stream was placid, and even sullen , in its course.""No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows;
      The dreaded east is all the wind that blows."
    • Sullen Lonely; solitary; desolate.
    • Sullen Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious. "Such sullen planets at my birth did shine."
    • Sullen Obstinate; intractable. "Things are as sullen as we are."
    • Sullen One who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit.
    • Sullen Sullen feelings or manners; sulks; moroseness; as, to have the sullens .
    • v. t Sullen To make sullen or sluggish. "Sullens the whole body with . . . laziness."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • sullen Being alone; solitary; lonely; hence, single; unmarried.
    • sullen Being but one; unique; hence, rare; remarkable.
    • sullen Remaining alone through ill humor; unsociable; silent and cross; sulky; morose; glum.
    • sullen Gloomy; dismal; somber.
    • sullen Sad; sorrowful; melancholy.
    • sullen Slow-moving; sluggish; dull: as, a sullen pace.
    • sullen Malignant; unpropitious; foreboding ill; baleful.
    • sullen Synonyms Gloomy, Sullen, Sulky, Morose, Splenetic. These words are arranged in the order of their intensity and of their degrees of activity toward others. Gloomy has the figurative suggestion of physical gloom or darkness: the gloomy man has little brightness in his mind, or he sees little light ahead. The sullen man is silent because he is sluggishly angry and somewhat bitter, and he repels friendly advances by silence and a lowering aspect rather than by words. The sulky person persists in being sullen beyond all reason and for mere whim: the young are often sulky. In the morose man there is an element of hate, and he meets advances with rudeness or cruel words: the young have rarely development of character enough to be morose. The splenetic man is sulky and peevish, with frequent outbursts of irritation venting itself upon persons or things. Any of these words may indicate either a temporary mood or a strong tendency of nature.
    • n sullen A solitary person; a recluse.
    • n sullen plural Sullen feelings; sulks; sullenness.
    • n sullen A meal for one person.
    • sullen To make sullen, morose, or sulky.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Sullen sul′en gloomily angry and silent: malignant, baleful: dark: dull
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Quotations

  • John Keble
    John Keble
    “We cannot pass our guardian angel's bounds, resigned or sullen, he will hear our sighs.”
  • Horace
    Horace
    “Usually the modest person passes for someone reserved, the silent for a sullen person”
  • Willa Cather
    Willa%20Cather
    “Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. solein, solain, lonely, sullen; through Old French fr. (assumed) LL. solanus, solitary, fr. L. solus, alone. See Sole (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. solain—L. solus, alone.

Usage

In literature:

We burned but one candle at a time, and its light was very small, so that our time was spent chiefly in a sullen twilight.
"The Frozen Pirate" by W. Clark Russell
That night the sun went down in angry crimson that ate like fire through the sullen heart of clouds banked low along the horizon.
"Nicanor - Teller of Tales" by C. Bryson Taylor
The unhappy man fell to the deck with a fractured skull, and the other mutineers sullenly yielded to the captain's will.
"The Naval History of the United States" by Willis J. Abbot
Ordinarily he would have accepted the proposed compromise, but the sullen and obstinate side of him was uppermost.
"Oh, You Tex!" by William Macleod Raine
Mr. Bickford got over the fence, and sullenly turned in the direction of his deserted wagon.
"The Young Acrobat of the Great North American Circus" by Horatio Alger Jr.
Even to Edward, Fergus became fierce and sullen, quite unlike his former gay and confident self.
"Red Cap Tales" by Samuel Rutherford Crockett
He was a sullen and noncommunicative person and intimated that he had suited his own convenience in coming on from the West.
"Joan of Arc of the North Woods" by Holman Day
In a few moments the boy returned, his face ugly, black, and sullen.
"The Dragon Painter" by Mary McNeil Fenollosa
Not one of them said a word, as they climbed into their saddles, and rode sullenly after the chief.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
And the waves of men no longer broke from the woods to lap up and recede sullenly down the slope.
"Ride Proud, Rebel!" by Andre Alice Norton
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In poetry:

Child of Delight! with sunbright hair
And seablue, sea-deep eyes;
Spirit of Bliss, what brings thee here,
Beneath these sullen skies?
"The Two Children Pt. II" by Emily Jane Bronte
And every frere, with forehead bare,
And bent, his beads must tell,
And all the while, through the dusky aisle,
Echoed the sullen bell;
"Enter Monks: From The Same" by Sir John Hanmer
And at eve the king again
Called his train,
And, with all the candles burning,
Silent sat and heard once more
The sullen roar
Of the ocean tides returning.
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 1. The Musician's Tale; The Saga of King Olaf V. -- The Skerry Of Shri" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
He was my only brother. She
A sister of my brother's friend.
They met, and married in the end.
And I remember well when he
Brought her rejoicing home, the trend
Of war moved towards us sullenly.
"The Brothers" by Madison Julius Cawein
The warm, weary day, was departing--the smile
Of the sunset gave token the tempest had ceased;
And the lightning yet fitfully gleamed for a while
On the cloud that sank sullen and dark in the east.
"The Battle Rainbow" by John Reuben Thompson
The glittering threshold is scarcely passed,
When there gathers and wraps him round
A thick white twilight, sullen and vast,
In which there is neither form nor sound;
The phantoms, the glory, vanish all,
With the dying voice of the waterfall.
"Catterskill Falls" by William Cullen Bryant

In news:

THE GAME-within-a-game plays out quietly, almost sullenly, with grim determination.
John Sullen is back at work (video).
Sullen , spectacular, and forever one of a kind.
Cadel Evans's often- sullen ride to historic victory.
John Sullen takes advantage of opening at left guard.
John Sullen takes advantage of opening at left guard - sec-football.com.
Kate's Topshop Line: Perfect Clothes for the Hungry and Sullen .
Memorial services for Cathy Sullens Railey, 57, of Alto, are scheduled for 2 pm Saturday, Jan 28, at the chapel of McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home with the Rev.
Sweet, swirly, sullen, and swoony.
"PRAGUE THE GOLDEN" was always beautiful, but for the last 21 years the mood was sullen, brooding, resentful.
A little before 2 am at Brooklyn, NY's House Of Yes, a sullen-looking guy in a plain black T-shirt approaches my friend enthusiastically but quickly backs off.
Within a daily dosage range of 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, or two to three cups, coffee improves negative moods that occur in the morning upon waking, lifting the sullen and gloomy clouds which can fog the mind upon rising.
) We repeated the survey five years later ("Work Harder, Work Smarter, to Motivate Your Employees," FM&T, November 2007), as the Great Recession was just starting, and again in early this year, during its sullen recovery.
Interpreting Kanye's silence: supportive or sullen.
Ashley Sullens was first to email the right answer to yoursideoftown@wspa.com.
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