American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Showing a brooding ill humor or silent resentment; morose or sulky.
- adj. Gloomy or somber in tone, color, or portent: sullen, gray skies.
- adj. Sluggish; slow: the sullen current of a canal.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Being alone; solitary; lonely; hence, single; unmarried.
- Being but one; unique; hence, rare; remarkable.
- Remaining alone through ill humor; unsociable; silent and cross; sulky; morose; glum.
- Gloomy; dismal; somber.
- Sad; sorrowful; melancholy.
- Slow-moving; sluggish; dull: as, a sullen pace.
- Malignant; unpropitious; foreboding ill; baleful.
- Synonyms Gloomy, Sullen, Sulky, Morose, Splenetic. These words are arranged in the order of their intensity and of their degrees of activity toward others. Gloomy has the figurative suggestion of physical gloom or darkness: the gloomy man has little brightness in his mind, or he sees little light ahead. The sullen man is silent because he is sluggishly angry and somewhat bitter, and he repels friendly advances by silence and a lowering aspect rather than by words. The sulky person persists in being sullen beyond all reason and for mere whim: the young are often sulky. In the morose man there is an element of hate, and he meets advances with rudeness or cruel words: the young have rarely development of character enough to be morose. The splenetic man is sulky and peevish, with frequent outbursts of irritation venting itself upon persons or things. Any of these words may indicate either a temporary mood or a strong tendency of nature.
- n. A solitary person; a recluse.
- n. plural Sullen feelings; sulks; sullenness.
- n. A meal for one person.
- To make sullen, morose, or sulky.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. obsolete Lonely; solitary; desolate.
- adj. Gloomy; dismal; foreboding.
- adj. Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious.
- adj. Gloomily angry and silent; cross; sour; affected with ill humor; morose.
- adj. Obstinate; intractable.
- adj. Heavy; dull; sluggish.
- n. obsolete One who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit.
- n. obsolete Sullen feelings or manners; sulks; moroseness.
- v. obsolete To make sullen or sluggish.
- adj. showing a brooding ill humor
- adj. darkened by clouds
- Middle English solein, from Anglo-Norman solein ("alone"), from sole ("single, sole, alone"), from Latin sōlus ("by oneself alone"). The change in meaning from "single" to morose occurred in Middle English. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English solein, from Anglo-Norman solein, alone, from sol, single, from Latin sōlus, by oneself alone; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
““I am afraid not,” Rysatam replied, his expression sullen.”
“For Nau-hau, in sullen volcanic rage, was ripe to erupt at the slightest opportunity.”
“The problem is, this need for external validaion doesn't lead to changes when it fails to materialize ... rather, it seems to result in sullen ad hominem attacks on critics (witness "freedom fries").”
“Simon watched all this from a couple of yards away, his expression sullen or possibly jealous.”
“Paolo followed her into the room, his expression sullen and inimical.”
The Count's Blackmail Bargain
“Her expression sullen, Janis whirled around without replying and walked back into the dressing room.”
Buried Alive, The Biography of Janis Joplin
“During all this work the sealers stood about in sullen groups.”
“The court people petted their nervous horses, and beside the gallows a black-robed man looked about in sullen restlessness.”
“For Nau - hau, in sullen volcanic rage, was ripe to erupt at the slightest opportunity.”
“It was all rock and dense forest, and unpeopled; only wild animals and seabirds sought the shelter it provided from the terrors of the West Wind; but he drove them out in sullen anger, and made on this strip of land his last stand against the Four Men.”
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Words that are oppressive. Describing anger, violence, aggression (overt and covert), opposition, tension. strong stance and lack of harmony.
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