Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Sullenly aloof or withdrawn.
  • adj. Gloomy; dismal: sulky weather.
  • n. A light, open two-wheeled vehicle accommodating only the driver and drawn by one horse, used especially in harness racing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. silent and withdrawn after being upset
  • n. A low two-wheeled cart, used in harness racing.
  • n. Any carriage seating only the driver.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Moodly silent; sullen; sour; obstinate; morose; splenetic.
  • n. A light two-wheeled carriage for a single person.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Silently resentful; dogged; morose; sullen; moody; disposed to keep aloof from society, or to repel the friendly advances of others.
  • Stunted, or of backward growth: noting a condition of a plant, sometimes resulting from insect injury.
  • Synonyms Morose, Splenetic, etc. (see sullen); cross, spleenish, perverse, cross-grained, out of humor.
  • n. A light two-wheeled carriage for one person, drawn by one horse, commonly used for trials of speed between trotting-horses.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. depressingly dark
  • n. a light two-wheeled vehicle for one person; drawn by one horse
  • adj. moving slowly
  • adj. sullen or moody

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration of obsolete sulke, sluggish, perhaps ultimately from Old English āsolcen, from past participle of āseolcan, to become sluggish.
From sulky1 (from its having only one seat).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • My Friends endeavoured to rally me out of this what they called sulky mood; I replied that I could not help it, that I should never again be happy till it was discovered who it was that took my bed-fellow's Money; and that its being lost while I was his bed fellow, certainly threw a sort of suspicion on me, that I could not get over, and to labour under which rendered me completely miserable.

    Memoirs of Henry Hunt, Esq. — Volume 1

  • Baron was not the first choice for the lead (Peter Falk was), but he does have a certain sulky presence as cynical hit man Frank Bono.

    Weekly Mishmash: April 25-May 1 : Scrubbles.net

  • She received it in sulky silence and retired to her room.

    Just Patty

  • Now the little one had often heard this point explained, but she felt small disposition to give up her knowledge at this demand; so she only looked at Miss Asphyxia in sulky silence.

    Oldtown Folks

  • I have a disposition variously described as sulky, sour, sarky, or cynical.

    Old Tin Sorrows

  • Michael's face had clouded with that gloom which his father would certainly call sulky, and for himself he resented the tone of Michael's reply.

    Michael

  • Now, a sulky is a vehicle built to accommodate two people only, and those two people have to sit fairly close together.

    Outback Marriage, an : a story of Australian life

  • There were many, misled by her petulant lips and watchful eyes, to call her sulky: these did not judge her silence favourably.

    The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay

  • He traveled in a vehicle called a sulky, and I went on horseback.

    Memoirs of Samuel M. Janney,

  • ‘I beg your pardon,’ he stammered, with a kind of sulky surprise.

    Armadale

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