sullen


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 ill-humored and who refuses to be sociable, cooperative, or responsive
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Sheridan was generally very dull in society, and sat sullen and silent— Scott

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he made them go back to the fields immediately after supper and work until midnight. They went in sullen silence— Anderson

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the furious quarrels, and always, always the bitter sullen face of the boy brooding over his work— Dahl

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One is glum who is dismally silent either because of low spirits or depressing circumstances
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we have of course good reason to look glum and little reason to laugh . . . now deprived of most of the things that make for gaiety and high spirits— Mais

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the two of you . . . sitting there as glum as a pair of saints in hell— Deasy

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One is morose who is austerely sour or bitter and inclined to glumness
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a morose ill-conditioned, ill-natured person— South

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should there be any cold-blooded and morose mortals who really dislike this book— Boswell

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One is surly who adds churlishness or gruffness of speech and manner to sullenness or moroseness
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he indulged his moods. If he were surly, he did not bother to hide it; if he were aggressive, he would swear at her— Mailer

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"Sam, put it out of your mind," I snapped in a rather surly rebuff— Michener

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the somewhat surly goodness, the hard and unattractive pieties into which she cannot really enter— Pater

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One is sulky who manifests displeasure, discontent, or resentment by giving way childishly to a fit of peevish sullenness
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though he had come in sulky unwillingness, he was impressed by the supper— Sinclair Lewis

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we were a precious pair: I sulky and obstinate, she changeable and hot-tempered— Shaw

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One is crabbed who is actually or seemingly ill-natured, harsh, and forbidding. The term often refers to one's aspect and manner of speaking and usually implies a sour or morose disposition or a settled crossness
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divine Philosophy! Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose— Milton

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the querulous, exacting father could not help . . . exasperating the children whom, in his own crabbed way, he yet genuinely loved— Woolf

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One is saturnine who presents a heavy, forbidding, taciturn gloom
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driven to saturnine and scornful silence by Gerald's godless conversation— Wylie

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Sheridan's humor, or rather wit, was always saturnine, and sometimes savage; he never laughed— Byron

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but saturnine may come close to sardonic (which see under SARCASTIC) and then suggests less a depressing heaviness and gloom than a wry mocking disdain and skepticism that is often at least superficially attractive
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novels ... in which evil is personified by saturnine persons who own yachts and look good in evening dress— Anthony West

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he felt worldly and saturnine like a character in a movie— Cheever

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One is dour who gives a sometimes superficial effect of severity, obstinacy, and grim bitterness of disposition
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though the Filipino seldom smiled, he was by no means dour. Kindliness was one of his most charming traits— Heiser

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he was silent, gloomy and dour, frequently irritable, unfriendly— C. W. M. Hart

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One is gloomy who is so depressed by events or conditions or so oppressed by melancholy that all signs of cheerfulness or optimism are obscured, so that he appears sullen, glum, or dour as well as low-spirited
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take a gloomy view of world conditions

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when she is gloomy she makes everyone unhappy

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he was constitutionally gloomy, a congenital pessimist who always saw the doleful side of any situation— White

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Analogous words: lowering, glowering, frowning, scowling (see FROWN): spiteful, malevolent, *malicious, malign: *cynical, pessimistic

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — 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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