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[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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Florence is my chimney-corner, where I can sulk and be happy.

  • He did not sulk in his tent, however, but pursued his work with unabated zeal.

    Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark Jens Christian Aaberg
  • There was no doubt of the depth of his discouragement and depression, but he was plainly too good stuff to sulk for long.

    Down the Yellowstone Lewis R. Freeman
  • No, but I will not encourage your whims; you chose to sulk, it was no fault of mine.

    Isabel Leicester Clotilda Jennings
  • Out on you, you chicken-hearted swab, to sulk and fret like a babe new weaned!

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I was determined to sulk, and should have been glad to have something to sulk at.

    Cat and Dog Julia Charlotte Maitland
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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