9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[suhlk] /sʌlk/
verb (used without object)
to remain silent or hold oneself aloof in a sullen, ill-humored, or offended mood:
Promise me that you won't sulk if I want to leave the party early.
a state or fit of sulking.
sulks, ill-humor shown by sulking:
to be in the sulks.
Also, sulker. a person who sulks.
Origin of sulk
1775-85; back formation from sulky
Related forms
outsulk, verb (used with object) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sulk
  • So the city squabbles, rots and ossifies, and families and businesses reluctantly sulk away.
  • Long-lived but initially slow to grow, peonies sulk if disturbed.
  • Rose continues to sulk and search for a way back home.
  • There is equally little question that a long sulk followed.
  • Half the members are impossible and the other half are in a permanent sulk because they aren't president.
  • And the stalwart pitched roofs, clearly visible from blocks away, drearily sulk at the damage done by the rigors of time.
  • Animals have moods-they can sulk, they can be happy, they can be sad.
  • Portable gaming devices have plenty of reason to sulk in the corner.
  • Apparently, when the ignorant are confronted with facts they don't understand, the ignorant take their ball and go home to sulk.
  • Those who vacillate or sulk, will miss a window of opportunity.
British Dictionary definitions for sulk


(intransitive) to be silent and resentful because of a wrong done to one, esp in order to gain sympathy; brood sullenly: the child sulked in a corner after being slapped
(often pl) a state or mood of feeling resentful or sullen: he's in a sulk because he lost the game, he's got the sulks
Also sulker. a person who sulks
Word Origin
C18: perhaps a back formation from sulky1
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
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Word Origin and History for sulk

1781, back-formation of sulky (adj.). Related: Sulked; sulking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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