Pronunciation Adjective

sullen (comparative sullener, superlative sullenest)

  1. Having a brooding ill temper; sulky.
    • And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast.
    • 2007, Steven Wilson, "Normal", Porcupine Tree, Nil Recurring.
      quote en
  2. Gloomy; dismal; foreboding.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, IV. v. 88:
      Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change;
    • 1671, John Milton, “Book the First”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey […], OCLC 228732398 ↗, lines 497–502, page 27 ↗:
      He added not; and Satan bowing low / His gray diſſimulation, diſappear'd / Into thin Air diffuſ'd: for now began / Night with her ſullen wing to double-ſhade / The Deſert; Fowls in thir clay neſts were couch't; / And now wild Beaſts came forth the woods to roam.
  3. Sluggish; slow.
    • 1814 July 6, [Walter Scott], Waverley; or, ’Tis Sixty Years Since. In Three Volumes, volume (please specify ), Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, OCLC 270129598 ↗:
  4. (obsolete) Lonely; solitary; desolate.
  5. (obsolete) Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious.
    • Such sullen planets at my birth did shine.
  6. (obsolete) Obstinate; intractable.
    • Things are as sullen as we are.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Noun

sullen (plural sullens)

  1. (obsolete) One who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit.
  2. (chiefly, in plural) Sullen feelings or manners; sulks; moroseness.
    • 1593, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard the Second, II. i. 139:
      And let them die that age and sullens have;
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, I.7:
      [M]y brother […] charged my desire of being excused coming down to sullens, because a certain person had been spoken against, upon whom, as he supposed, my fancy ran.

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