Definitions for surlyˈsɜr li

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

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

sur•lyˈsɜr li(adj.)-li•er, -li•est.

  1. sullenly rude or bad-tempered.

  2. unfriendly or hostile; menacingly irritable:

    a surly old lion.

  3. dark or dismal:

    a surly sky.

  4. Obs. lordly; arrogant.

Origin of surly:

1560–70; sp. var. of obs. sirly lordly =sir+ -ly


Princeton's WordNet

  1. surly, ugly(adj)

    inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace

    "a surly waiter"; "an ugly frame of mind"


  1. surly(Adverb)

    In an arrogant or supercilious manner.

  2. surly(Adjective)

    Lordly, arrogant, supercilious.

  3. surly(Adjective)

    Irritated, bad-tempered, unfriendly.

  4. surly(Adjective)

    Threatening, menacing, gloomy.

    The surly weather put us all in a bad mood.

  5. Origin: Sixteenth-century alteration of sirly, from sir + -ly.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Surly(adj)

    arrogant; haughty

  2. Surly(adj)

    gloomily morose; ill-natured, abrupt, and rude; severe; sour; crabbed; rough; sullen; gloomy; as, a surly groom; a surly dog; surly language; a surly look

  3. Surly(adj)

    rough; dark; tempestuous

Translations for surly

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


bad-tempered or rude.

Get even more translations for surly »


Find a translation for the surly definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these surly definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"surly." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for surly?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for surly: