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Etymology 1Edit

Back-formation from sulky, of uncertain origin. Probably from Middle English *sulke, *solke (attested in solcennesse (idleness; laziness), from Old English āsolcennys (idelness; slothfulness; sluggishness; laziness), from Old English āsolcen (sulky, languid), from past participle of āseolcan (be slow; be weak or slothful; languish), from Proto-Germanic *selkaną (to fall in drops; dribble; droop) and ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *selǵ- (to let go, send). Cognate with several Indo-Iranian words deriving from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sarĵ-[1] and possibly with Hittite 𒊭𒀠𒀝𒍣 (ša-al-ak-zi /šalkzi/, knead, mix), although the semantic connection is weak.[2]


sulk (plural sulks)

  1. A state of sulking.
    • 1986, John le Carré, A Perfect Spy:
      He thanks our miserable Liberal agent, an unbeliever called Donald Somebody, see the caption, who since the court's arrival on his territory has retired into a fuming sulk from which he has only tonight emerged.
    Leo has been in a sulk all morning.


sulk (third-person singular simple present sulks, present participle sulking, simple past and past participle sulked)

  1. (intransitive) to express ill humor or offence by remaining sullenly silent or withdrawn.
Related termsEdit


  1. ^ Cheung, Johnny (2007), “*harz-”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Iranian Verb (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 2), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN
  2. ^ Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008), “šalk-zi”, in Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 5), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 821

Etymology 2Edit

Latin sulcus.


sulk (plural sulks)

  1. A furrow.