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[suhl-kee] /ˈsʌl ki/
adjective, sulkier, sulkiest.
marked by or given to sulking; sullen.
gloomy or dull:
sulky weather.
noun, plural sulkies.
a light, two-wheeled, one-horse carriage for one person.
Origin of sulky
1735-45; akin to Old English solcen- lazy (in solcennes laziness), Frisian (N dial.) sulkig sulky
Related forms
sulkily, adverb
sulkiness, noun
unsulkily, adverb
unsulkiness, noun
unsulky, adjective
1. moody, surly, morose, churlish.
1. good-humored, good-natured. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sulkily
Historical Examples
  • The man saw his condition, and, sulkily enough, hove him into his place.

    Eric, or Little by Little Frederic W. Farrar
  • sulkily Papa argued that the cost in any case was prohibitive.

    The Innocent Adventuress Mary Hastings Bradley
  • sulkily enough at the close of the week he turned his back on Heckleston racecourse, and took the road to Golden Friars.

    J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 3 Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • He sulkily picked up the codlines, and threw the hooks overboard.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • "It is necessary to my plans and wishes," returned the other sulkily.

    The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
  • The fellow had borne himself to me in a sulkily frightened manner at the last.

    The Shadow-Line Joseph Conrad
  • A lonely deuce fell on the sand, and Rhodes eyed it sulkily as he rolled a cigarette.

    The Treasure Trail Marah Ellis Ryan
  • "I wish it would haunt me a little when I 'm awake," said he, sulkily.

    Barrington Charles James Lever
  • "I ain't seen the bottle," sulkily responded the lad, his ill-humour returning at once.

    A Sailor's Lass Emma Leslie
  • "The captain knows I'm with him for everything," said Dick, sulkily.

    Hidden Hand Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth
British Dictionary definitions for sulkily


adjective sulkier, sulkiest
sullen, withdrawn, or moody, through or as if through resentment
dull or dismal: sulky weather
Derived Forms
sulkily, adverb
sulkiness, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps from obsolete sulke sluggish, probably related to Old English āseolcan to be lazy


noun (pl) sulkies
a light two-wheeled vehicle for one person, usually drawn by one horse
Word Origin
C18: from sulky1, because it can carry only one person
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 sulkily



"sullen," 1744, probably from Old English asolcen "idle, lazy, slow," from past participle of aseolcan "become sluggish, be weak or idle" (related to besylcan "be languid"), from Proto-Germanic *seklanan (cf. Middle High German selken "to drop, fall").


"light carriage with two wheels," 1756, apparently a noun use of sulky (adj.), on notion of "standoffishness," because the carriage has room for only one person.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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