From 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.



sullen (comparative sullener, superlative sullenest)

  1. Having a brooding ill temper; sulky.
    • Prior
      And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast.
  2. Gloomy; dismal; foreboding.
    • Shakespeare
      Solemn hymns to sullen dirges change.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)
  3. Sluggish; slow.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      The larger stream was placid, and even sullen, in its course.
  4. (obsolete) Lonely; solitary; desolate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Wyclif Bible (Job iii. 14) to this entry?)
  5. (obsolete) Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious.
    • Dryden
      Such sullen planets at my birth did shine.
  6. (obsolete) Obstinate; intractable.
    • Tillotson
      Things are as sullen as we are.





sullen (plural sullens)

  1. (obsolete) One who is solitary, or lives alone; a hermit.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Piers Plowman to this entry?)
  2. Sullen feelings or manners; sulks; moroseness.
    to have the sullens
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
Last modified on 18 April 2014, at 01:34