From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. Lonely; solitary; desolate.

2. Gloomy; dismal; foreboding. Solemn hymns so sullen dirges change. (Shak)

3. Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious. Such sullen planets at my birth did shine. (Dryden)

4. Gloomily angry and silent; cross; sour; affected with ill humor; morose. And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast. (prior)

5. Obstinate; intractable. Things are as sullen as we are. (Tillotson)

6. Heavy; dull; sluggish. The larger stream was placid, and even sullen, in its course.

Synonym: Sulky, sour, cross, ill-natured, morose, peevish, fretful, ill-humored, petulant, gloomy, malign, intractable.

Sullen, Sulky. Both sullen and sulky show themselves in the demeanor. Sullenness seems to be an habitual sulkiness, and sulkiness a temporary sullenness. The former may be an innate disposition; the latter, a disposition occasioned by recent injury. Thus we are in a sullen mood, and in a sulky fit. No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows; The dreaded east is all the wind that blows. (pope)

Origin: OE. Solein, solain, lonely, sullen; through Old French fr. (assumed) LL. Solanus solitary, fr. L. Solus alone.