Definitions for sullyˈsʌl i; for 1 also Fr. süˈli

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word sully

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sul•lyˈsʌl i(v.)-lied, -ly•ing

  1. (v.t.)to soil, stain, or tarnish.

  2. to mar the purity or luster of; defile:

    to sully a reputation.

  3. (v.i.)to become sullied, soiled, or tarnished.

  4. (n.)Obs. a stain; soil.

Origin of sully:

1585–95; orig. uncert.


Sul•lyˈsʌl i; for 1 also Fr. süˈli(n.)

  1. Maximilien de Béthune, Duc de, 1560–1641, French statesman.

    Category: Biography

  2. Thomas, 1783–1872, U.S. painter, born in England.

    Category: Biography

Princeton's WordNet

  1. Sully, Thomas Sully(noun)

    United States painter (born in England) of portraits and historical scenes (1783-1872)

  2. Sully, Duc de Sully, Maxmilien de Bethune(verb)

    French statesman (1560-1641)

  3. defile, sully, corrupt, taint, cloud(verb)

    place under suspicion or cast doubt upon

    "sully someone's reputation"

  4. tarnish, stain, maculate, sully, defile(verb)

    make dirty or spotty, as by exposure to air; also used metaphorically

    "The silver was tarnished by the long exposure to the air"; "Her reputation was sullied after the affair with a married man"

  5. defame, slander, smirch, asperse, denigrate, calumniate, smear, sully, besmirch(verb)

    charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

    "The journalists have defamed me!" "The article in the paper sullied my reputation"


  1. sully(Verb)

    to soil or stain; to dirty

    He did not wish to sully his hands with gardening.

  2. sully(Verb)

    to damage or corrupt

    He did not wish to sully his reputation with an ill-mannered comment.

  3. Origin: From sulien (also sulwen), from sylian, from suliwōnan, from sūl-. Cognate with sulian, soluwen, sühlen, søle, söla. Perhaps conflated partially with souillier , from the same source. Related also to solian. More at soil.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sully(verb)

    to soil; to dirty; to spot; to tarnish; to stain; to darken; -- used literally and figuratively; as, to sully a sword; to sully a person's reputation

  2. Sully(verb)

    to become soiled or tarnished

  3. Sully(noun)

    soil; tarnish; stain


  1. Sully

    Sully is a city in Jasper County, Iowa, United States. The population was 821 at the 2010 census. The town is named after railroad man Alfred Sully.


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