Synonym Chooser

How is the word sulky different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of sulky are crabbed, gloomy, glum, morose, saturnine, sullen, and surly. While all these words mean "showing a forbidding or disagreeable mood," sulky suggests childish resentment expressed in peevish sullenness.

grew sulky after every spat

Where would crabbed be a reasonable alternative to sulky?

The words crabbed and sulky can be used in similar contexts, but crabbed applies to a forbidding morose harshness of manner.

the school's notoriously crabbed headmaster

When is gloomy a more appropriate choice than sulky?

While the synonyms gloomy and sulky are close in meaning, gloomy implies a depression in mood making for seeming sullenness or glumness.

a gloomy mood ushered in by bad news

When can glum be used instead of sulky?

The words glum and sulky are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, glum suggests a silent dispiritedness.

a glum candidate left to ponder a stunning defeat

How do morose and glum relate to one another, in the sense of sulky?

Morose adds to glum an element of bitterness or misanthropy.

morose job seekers who are inured to rejection

When would saturnine be a good substitute for sulky?

In some situations, the words saturnine and sulky are roughly equivalent. However, saturnine describes a heavy forbidding aspect or suggests a bitter disposition.

a saturnine cynic always finding fault

In what contexts can sullen take the place of sulky?

While in some cases nearly identical to sulky, sullen implies a silent ill humor and a refusal to be sociable.

remained sullen amid the festivities

When could surly be used to replace sulky?

The synonyms surly and sulky are sometimes interchangeable, but surly implies gruffness and sullenness of speech or manner.

a typical surly teenager

Thesaurus Entries Near sulky

Cite this Entry

“Sulky.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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