top of page

Claim your free ebook

Website Image.jpg



defile, purify, cleanse, sanctify


Guile and Duplicity, Duplicity and Deceit, Harmful and Detrimental



How to pronounce sully (audio)


Dictionary definition of sully

To tarnish, stain, or mar something, typically referring to the reputation, honor, or purity of a person, place, or thing.
"Do not let their harsh words sully your positive spirit."

Detailed meaning of sully

When something is 'sullied,' it suggests that it has been negatively affected or damaged in some way, often by actions or influences that compromise its integrity or good standing. This term conveys the idea of a blemish or contamination that diminishes the perceived quality or worth of the subject. 'Sully' can refer to both tangible and intangible things, such as a person's character, a pristine landscape, or the reputation of an organization. It underscores the notion of preserving and protecting the purity or integrity of something against damaging or harmful influences.

Example sentences containing sully

1. Gossip can sully a person's reputation, spreading falsehoods.
2. Scandals have the power to sully the image of even respected institutions.
3. Lies and deceit can sully the trust within a relationship.
4. The controversy threatened to sully the politician's career.
5. Vandalism can sully the beauty of public art and landmarks.
6. It's essential not to sully the memory of those we've lost with falsehoods.

History and etymology of sully

The verb 'sully' has its origins in Middle English, where it was spelled as 'sulien' and meant 'to soil' or 'to dirty.' This Middle English term is thought to have been derived from the Old French word 'soillier,' which had a similar meaning. Both Middle English and Old French terms ultimately trace their roots back to the Latin word 'solutus,' which means 'loosened' or 'released.' Over time, 'sully' evolved to describe the act of tarnishing, staining, or marring something, particularly the reputation, honor, or purity of a person, place, or thing. Its etymology reflects the idea of something being made impure or dirty, akin to the original sense of soiling or dirtying, and captures the concept of damaging one's image or integrity.

Quiz: Find the meaning of sully

Try Again!


Further usage examples of sully

1. Misconduct can sully the integrity of a professional organization.
2. Carelessness can sully a company's commitment to quality.
3. Inaccurate reporting can sully the reputation of journalism.
4. Slandering someone can sully their character unjustly.
5. Let's work together to ensure we don't sully our team's reputation.
6. It's a shame to see beautiful places sully due to pollution.
7. The smear campaign aimed to sully the candidate's reputation.
8. Don't let one mistake sully an otherwise stellar performance.
9. The graffiti did nothing but sully the beauty of the historic building.
10. Dishonest practices can quickly sully a company's image.
11. We must ensure our actions do not sully the honor of this institution.
12. His arrogant behavior did nothing but sully his chances of success.
13. The litter began to sully the once-pristine beach.
14. She feared her past mistakes might sully her new relationship.
15. His intentions were good, but his actions managed to sully the entire project.
16. The ongoing scandal continued to sully the government's image.
17. Don't sully your hands with such dishonest dealings.
18. He feared his own worries might sully the excitement of the event.
19. The careless remarks began to sully the friendly atmosphere of the gathering.
20. Fake news has the power to sully even the most respected public figures.
21. Unresolved conflicts can sully the harmony in a team.
22. She didn't want to sully the surprise by revealing it early.
23. He worried that his lack of experience would sully the team's performance.
24. We must not let ignorance sully our understanding of different cultures.

bottom of page