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Webster 1913 Edition


Sully

Sul′ly

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Sullied
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Sullying
.]
[OE.
sulien
, AS.
sylian
, fr.
sol
mire; akin to G.
suhle
mire,
sich
,
sühlen
to wallow, Sw.
söla
to bemire, Dan.
söle
, Goth. bi
saulijan
to defile.]
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
.
Statues
sullied
yet with sacrilegious smoke.
Roscommon.
No spots to
sully
the brightness of this solemnity.
Atterbury.

Sul′ly

,
Verb.
I.
To become soiled or tarnished.
Silvering will
sully
and canker more than gilding.
Bacon.

Sul′ly

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Sullies
.
Soil; tarnish; stain.
A noble and triumphant merit breaks through little spots and
sullies
in his reputation.
Spectator.

Webster 1828 Edition


Sully

SUL'LY

, v.t.
1.
To soil; to dirt; to spot; to tarnish.
And statues sullied yet with sacrilegious smoke.
2.
To tarnish; to darken.
Let there be no spots to sully the brightness of this solemnity.
3.
To stain; to tarnish; as the purity of reputation; as virtues sullied by slanders; character sullied by infamous vices.

SUL'LY

,
Verb.
I.
To be soiled or tarnished.
Silvering will sully and canker more than gilding.

SUL'LY

,
Noun.
Soil, tarnish; spot.
A noble and triumphant merit breaks through little spots and sullies on his reputation.

Definition 2022


sully

sully

English

Alternative forms

Verb

sully (third-person singular simple present sullies, present participle sullying, simple past and past participle sullied)

  1. (transitive) to soil or stain; to dirty
    He did not wish to sully his hands with gardening.
    • Roscommon
      statues sullied yet with sacrilegious smoke
  2. (transitive) to damage or corrupt
    He did not wish to sully his reputation with an ill-mannered comment.
    • Atterbury
      no spots to sully the brightness of this solemnity
  3. (intransitive) To become soiled or tarnished.
    • Francis Bacon
      Silvering will sully and canker more than gilding.

Coordinate terms

Translations