Sullen Sul"len, a. [OE. solein, solain, lonely, sullen; through Old French fr. (assumed) LL. solanus solitary, fr. L. solus alone. See {Sole}, a.] 1. Lonely; solitary; desolate. [Obs.] --Wyclif (Job iii. 14). [1913 Webster]

2. Gloomy; dismal; foreboding. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Solemn hymns so sullen dirges change. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Mischievous; malignant; unpropitious. [1913 Webster]

Such sullen planets at my birth did shine. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

4. Gloomily angry and silent; cross; sour; affected with ill humor; morose. [1913 Webster]

And sullen I forsook the imperfect feast. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

5. Obstinate; intractable. [1913 Webster]

Things are as sullen as we are. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

6. Heavy; dull; sluggish. ``The larger stream was placid, and even sullen, in its course.'' --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

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

Usage: {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. [1913 Webster]

No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows; The dreaded east is all the wind that blows. --Pope. [1913 Webster] -- {Sul"len*ly}, adv. -- {Sul"len*ness}, n. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.