Definition of surly in English:


Line breaks: surly
Pronunciation: /ˈsəːli

adjective (surlier, surliest)



More example sentences
  • The crowd surlily begins to look for hats, shoes and coat-belts torn off in the scrimmage.
  • He hesitated as if about to say something sharp, then surlily he agreed.


More example sentences
  • All this and some sort of subway malfunction that caused my homebound train to be completely packed with surly commuters who started picking fights with each other just to express their surliness.
  • I had been slow to relinquish the last of my English currency and I was unprepared for the extreme surliness of the official who glowered at me with undisguised aggression as I handed him my passport.
  • It can be taken for granted that reasons abound for self-pity, anger, fear, ill will, surliness and general unhappiness.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'lordly, haughty, arrogant'): alteration of obsolete sirly (see sir, -ly1).

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